SREL Reprint #2133





Evaluation of three herbaceous index plant species for bioavailability of soil cadmium, chromium, nickel and vanadium

H.W. Martin 1,4 , T.R. Young2 , D.I. Kaplan1, L. Simon1 and D.C. Adriano1
1Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, University of Georgia, Aiken, SC 29802, USA ,
2Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99163, USA and
3College of Agriculture, Faculty of the Gödöll University,
of Agriculture, H-4401 Nyíregyháza, PO.Box 33, Hungary.
4Current address: 229-A Presidential Dr, Greenville,
DE 19807, USA


Uncultivated plants growing on disturbed sites may be useful for assessing the bioavailability of some metals in soils, and thus the potential for metal mobilization up the terrestrial food chain, an important element in ecological risk assessment. A planted chicory cultivar (Cichorium inbus L. var. foliosum Hegi.)and the uncultivated plants horseweed (Canada fleabane) (Erigeron canadensis L.) and dogfennel (Eupatorium capillifolium (Lam.) Small) were evaluated for their ability to act as index plant species for soil Cd, Cr, Ni, and V at two field sites where these metals had been applied five yr previously to two highly weathered sandy Ultisols. Soil Cd was available to all analyzed plant tissues of-dll three plant species at both sites, particularly on the sandier Blanton soil. Chicory was an effective index plant for Cd on the tiner textured Orangeburg soil but functioned as an indicator plant (toxicity symptoms were observed) on the sandier Blanton soil. Horseweed and dogfennel were effective index plants for Cd in both contaminated soils. Soil Cr, Ni, and V were less bioavailable than soil Cd and plant metal uptake was more sensitive to residual soil Cr, Ni, and V than was soil extraction with double acid. Horseweed and chicory may have potential as index plants for soil Cr. Chicory may have potential as a Ni index plant. Chicory and dogfennel may have potential as V index plants.

Key words: bioavailability, cadmium, chicory, chromium, Cichorium intybus, contamination, ecological risk assessment, Erigeron canadensis, Eupatorium capillifolium, horseweed, index plants, index species, metals, nickel, soil, vanadium

SREL Reprint #2133

Martin, H.W., T.R. Young, D.I. Kaplan, L. Simon, and D.C. Adriano. 1996. Evaluation of three herbaceous index plant species for bioavailability of soil cadmium, chromium, nickel, and vanadium. Journal of Plant and Soil 182:199-207.

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