Pollution in the urban soils of Lianyungang, China, evaluated using a pollution index, mobility of heavy metals, and enzymatic activities.Environ Monit Assess. 2017 Jan; 189(1):34.EM
Soil samples from 16 urban sites in Lianyungang, China were collected and analyzed. A pollution index was used to assess the potential ecological risk of heavy metals and a sequential extraction procedure was used to evaluate the relative distribution of Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd, Cr, and As in exchangeable, carbonate, Fe/Mn oxide, organic/sulfide, and residual fractions. The mobility of heavy metals and urease (URE) activity, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, and invertase (INV) activity of soils was determined. The results showed that the average concentrations of Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd, Cr, and As in Lianyungang soils were much higher than those in the coastal city soil background values of Jiangsu and China. Among the five studied regions (utilities, commercial, industrial, tourism, and roadside), the industrial region had the highest metal concentrations demonstrating that land use had a significant impact on the accumulation of heavy metals in Lianyungang soils. Compared to the other metals, Cd showed the highest ecological risk. According to chemical partitioning, Cu was associated with the organic/sulfides and Pb and Zn were mainly in the carbonate and the Fe/Mn oxide phase. The greatest amounts of Cd were found in exchangeable and carbonate fractions, while Cr and As were mainly in the residual fraction. Cd had the highest mobility of all metals, and the order of mobility (highest to lowest) of heavy metals in Lianyungang soils was Cd > Zn > Pb > Cu > As > Cr. Soil urease activity, alkaline phosphatase activity, and invertase activity varied considerably in different pollution degree sites. Soil enzyme activities had the lowest levels in roadside and industrial regions. Across all the soil data in the five regions, the total Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd, Cr, and As level was negatively correlated with urease activity, alkaline phosphatase activity, and invertase activity, but the relationship was not significant. In the industrial region, alkaline phosphatase activity had significant negative correlations with total Cu, Pb, Cr, Zn, Cd, and heavy metal fractions. This showed that alkaline phosphatase activity was sensitive to heavy metals in heavily contaminated regions, whereas urease and invertase were less affected. The combination of the various methods may offer a powerful analytical technique in the study of heavy metal pollution in street soil.