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01.09.2014 | Original Article | Ausgabe 5/2014

Environmental Earth Sciences 5/2014

Spatial distribution and bioavailability of Hg in vegetable-growing soils collected from the estuary areas of Jiulong River, China

Zeitschrift:
Environmental Earth Sciences > Ausgabe 5/2014
Autoren:
Zhi Zhang, Yinglan Cao, Jian Li, Chao Cai, Zhiyong Huang

Abstract

The distribution and bioavailability of Hg in vegetable-growing soils collected from the estuary areas of Jiulong River, China, were studied. Concentrations of Hg in top-soils, soil profiles and plant samples were measured with the method of hydride generation atomic fluorescence spectrometry after microwave digestion. Mercury species in soils were determined with the sequential extraction procedures based on Kingston method. Results showed that Hg concentrations in top-soils ranged from 49.8 to 1,685 ng g−1, with an average of 510 ng g−1 which was more than twice higher than the mercury limit (250 ng g−1 at pH < 6.5) of soil quality set for edible agricultural products in China (HJ 332-2006). High levels of Hg were found to mainly distribute in the top-soils from the northern, western and southern part of the estuary areas. Hg concentrations decreased with the increases of profile depths, except for one sample (S15) in which Hg level in the depth of 0–20 cm was found lower than that in the 20–40 cm. Hg in most of soil samples in non-mobile forms accounted for 46–82 % of total Hg in soils, while Hg in the mobile forms only 0.6–8.7 %. No significant correlation of Hg concentrations between the vegetables and the soils was observed in the studied areas, which indicates that the transfer factors could only reflect the abilities of Hg uptake and accumulation in a specific plant, but they are unsuitable to be used as the general indexes for the mobility and bioavailability of Hg in soils.

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