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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Codling, Eton
item Ritchie, Jerry

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/24/2004
Publication Date: 10/31/2004
Citation: Codling, E.E., Ritchie, J.C. 2004. Effect of lime and phosphorus amended orchard soils on arsenic and lead uptake by eastern gamagrass [abstract]. 2004 Annual Meeting American Society of Agronomy Abstracts. Paper No. 3466.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Lead arsenate was used as an insecticide to control Codling moth (Cydia pomonella) in orchards from the 1930s to the 1960s. As a result, many orchard soils are contaminated with lead (Pb) and arsenic (As). There are concerns that Pb and As may become an environmental problem once these soils are no longer used for orchards. Research is being conducted in remediating these soils in place, because soil removal will be too expensive. One alternative to soil removal is using plants to remove Pb and As from these soils (phytoremediation). It has been shown that some plants can accumulate large amount of As from contaminated soils. The objective of this experiment was to determine uptake of Pb and As by eastern gamagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides L.) from lime and phosphorus amended orchard soils. A control soil and orchard soils collected from Maryland and Washington with total (Aqua Regia) Pb of 15, 574, and 943 mg kg-1 and As levels of 8, 113, and 194 mg kg-1 respectively were treated with calcium carbonate (lime) and potassium phosphate (P) and planted with eastern gamagrass. The addition of P increased the yield of eastern gamagrass compared to the no P treatment but the differences were not significant. The yield was significantly reduced on the soil with the highest levels of Pb and As. There was a slight increase in tissue As concentration and a reduction in Pb with the addition of lime and P; however, the differences were not significant. Uptake of Pb and As was related to their concentration in the soil. However, eastern gamagrass did not remove substantial amount of Pb and As from the soils and will not be a good candidate for phytoremediation of Pb and As from lead arsenate contaminated orchard soils.

Last Modified: 07/26/2017
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