SREL Reprint #2798





T. Punshon1,2, A. L. Neal2,3, and B. P. Jackson2

1Rutgers University, USA
2University of Georgia, Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, USA
3University of Georgia, Department of Microbiology, USA

Abstract: Cadmium (Cd) is a trace metal with no known biological function, currently applied in varying quantities to agricultural soil via phosphatic fertilisers and sewage sludge. Simultaneously, Cd enters the biosphere as a waste product from various industrial sources. Exposure of biota to Cd causes far greater zootoxicity than phytotoxicity; Cd induces toxic biological effects at lower concentrations than almost any other commonly found element. Combined with comparatively greater environmental mobility, Cd has a tendency to move rapidly through food webs. Evidence of its transfer through the food chain, and the devastating effects on human health stimulate a continuing review of recent literature, particularly to further an understanding of trophic transfer and remediation. This chapter focuses on recent advances made in the study of Cd in soil, microbes and plants in addition to trophic transfer and novel remedial technologies. The chapter briefly discusses the history of Cd contamination; its continued application, loading of Cd into the soil, and soil chemistry. More rigorous discussions of biogeochemistry can be found in several key review texts and will not be repeated here.

SREL Reprint #2798

Punshon, T., A. L. Neal, and B. P. Jackson. 2004. Cadmium. pp. 171-208. In I. Shtangeeva (Ed.). Trace and Ultratrace Elements in Plants and Soil. WIT Press, Southampton, Boston.

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