Accumulation and ecological effects of soil heavy metals in conventional and organic greenhouse vegetable production systems in Nanjing, China

Yong Chen, Biao Huang, Wenyou Hu, David C. Weindorf, Xiaoxiao Liu, Lanqin Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

The spatial variability of soil heavy metals in conventional and organic greenhouse vegetable production (CGVP and OGVP) systems can reveal the influence of different farming activities on their accumulation and plant uptake. This provides important basic data for soil utilization and pollution risk assessment. Based on horizontal and vertical spatial analysis, this paper presents the spatial variability and accumulation of soil heavy metals. The effects on plant uptake and factors influencing heavy metal accumulation are presented using the two typical greenhouse vegetable sites in Nanjing City, China as examples. Results showed that different greenhouse vegetable production systems had their own dominant heavy metal accumulation, specifically, Hg and Pb in CGVP system and Cd in OGVP system. The spatial analysis showed that horizontally, distribution of soil properties and heavy metal concentrations in the two sites showed decreases from specific regions to the periphery for organic matter (OM), Cd, Cu, Hg, Pb, and Zn in CGVP and OM, As, Cd, Cu, Hg, Pb, and Zn in OGVP. Vertically, soil properties and heavy metals mainly vary in the topsoil. The key factor for the accumulation was excess fertilizer input. Variation of soil properties and the accumulation of soil heavy metals significantly influenced heavy metal uptake by plants. However, accumulation risk varied according to different heavy metals and different plant species. Environmental management of these two kinds of production systems should pay more attention to fertilizer application, plant selection, and soil properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3605-3616
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Earth Sciences
Volume71
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2014

Keywords

  • Heavy metal sources
  • Plant uptakes
  • Soil properties
  • Spatial variability

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