Temporal variability in trace metal solubility in a paddy soil not reflected in uptake by rice (Oryza sativa L.).Environ Geochem Health. 2016 Dec; 38(6):1355-1372.EG
Alternating flooding and drainage conditions have a strong influence on redox chemistry and the solubility of trace metals in paddy soils. However, current knowledge of how the effects of water management on trace metal solubility are linked to trace metal uptake by rice plants over time is still limited. Here, a field-contaminated paddy soil was subjected to two flooding and drainage cycles in a pot experiment with two rice plant cultivars, exhibiting either high or low Cd accumulation characteristics. Flooding led to a strong vertical gradient in the redox potential (Eh). The pH and Mn, Fe, and dissolved organic carbon concentrations increased with decreasing Eh and vice versa. During flooding, trace metal solubility decreased markedly, probably due to sulfide mineral precipitation. Despite its low solubility, the Cd content in rice grains exceeded the food quality standards for both cultivars. Trace metal contents in different rice plant tissues (roots, stem, and leaves) increased at a constant rate during the first flooding and drainage cycle but decreased after reaching a maximum during the second cycle. As such, the high temporal variability in trace metal solubility was not reflected in trace metal uptake by rice plants over time. This might be due to the presence of aerobic conditions and a consequent higher trace metal solubility near the root surface, even during flooding. Trace metal solubility in the rhizosphere should be considered when linking water management to trace metal uptake by rice over time.