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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Sustainable Perennial Crops Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #313500

Research Project: Sustainable Production Systems for Cacao

Location: Sustainable Perennial Crops Laboratory

Title: Soil biogeochemistry, plant physiology and phytoremediation of cadmium contaminated soils

Author
item He, Shanying
item He, Zhenli
item Yang, Xiaoe
item Stoffella, Peter
item Baligar, Virupax

Submitted to: Advances in Agronomy
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/15/2015
Publication Date: 9/2/2015
Citation: He, S., He, Z., Yang, X., Stoffella, P., Baligar, V.C. 2015. Soil biogeochemistry, plant physiology and phytoremediation of cadmium contaminated soils. Advances in Agronomy. 134:134-225.

Interpretive Summary: Cadmium is harmful to human and plant health. Natural and anthropogenic sources (agricultural activities and the disposal of metal-contaminated wastes such as wastewater and sludge) have contributed to the accumulation of Cd in agricultural soils and water sources. This review provides recent progress in soil biogeochemistry of Cd, physiology of hyper Cd accumulator plants, and remediation strategies to optimization Cd levels in soils. Information compiled in this review will be useful to policy makers, and scientists to identify sources of cadmium contamination and to develop remediation strategies in farming systems. Information is also useful to growers to understand the significance of cadmium toxicity and to avoid growing crops in cadmium contaminated sites and use methods to reduce levels of cadmium in soil and plant systems.

Technical Abstract: Cadmium (Cd) loading in soil and the environment has been accelerated worldwide due to enhanced industrialization and intensified agricultural production, particularly in the developing countries. Soil Cd pollution, resulting from both anthropogenic and geogenic sources, has posed an increasing challenge to soil quality and food security as well as human health. As compared with other heavy metals such as copper (Cu) and lead (Pb), Cd demonstrates greater mobility along food chain and in the environment. Cadmium is harmful to human health and potentially toxic to biota at lower concentrations. Therefore, it is imperative to develop management strategies for control of pollution sources and remediation of contaminated soils. Extensive studies have been conducted in recent years to understand biogeochemical processes of Cd in soils, its cycle in agroecosystems, impacts on soil quality and food security, and the remediation of Cd contaminated soils. Phytoremediation as an emergent technology has stimulated refreshed interest because of its being cost-effective and eco-friendly, especially the use of metal hyperaccumulating plants to extract or mine heavy metals from contaminated soils. Progress has been made in the understanding of mechanisms that govern Cd accumulation and detoxification in accumulating plants. This review provides recent progress in soil biogeochemistry and plant physiology of Cd, mechanisms of hyperaccumulation of Cd in plant, and remediation strategies including chemical and microbiological enhancement, and optimization of field management practices, in the hope to shed a light on future research.