Advertisement

Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Short- and long-term effects of heavy metals on phosphatase activity in soils: An ecological dose-response model approach

Summary

The aim of this study was to provide manageable data to help establish permissible limits for the pollution of soil by heavy metals. Therefore the short-and long-term effects of heavy metal pollution on phosphatase activity was studied in five different soil types. The results are presented graphically as logistic dose-response curves. It was possible to construct a curve for sand and silty loam soil but it was more difficult to establish a curve for sandy loam and clay soil and nearly impossible (except for Cu) for peat. The toxicity of the various metals can be compared on the basis of mmol values. In clay soils, for Cd, Cr, Cu, and Zn, the 50% effective ecological dose (ED50) values were comparable (approximately 45 mmol kg−1), but the ED10 values were very different, at 7.4, 41.4, 15.1, and 0.55, respectively. At the ED50 value, toxicity did not decrease with time and, in sandy soils, was approximately 2.6 mmol kg −1 dry soil for Cd, Cu, and Zn. In four out of five soils, the Cd toxicity was higher 1.5 years after the addition of heavy metal salts than after 6 weeks. Toxicity was least in the sandy loam, silty loam, and clay soil, and varied in general between 12 and 88 mmol kg−1. In setting limits, the criteria selected (no-effect level, ED10 or ED50) determine the concentration and also the toxicity of the sequence. It is suggested that the data presented here could be very useful in helping to set permissible limits for heavy metal soil pollution.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Al-Khafaji AA, Tabatabei MA (1979) Effects of trace elements on arylsulphatase activity in soils. Soil Sci 127:129–133

  2. Alvey N, Galvey N, Lane P (1982) An introduction to GENSTAT. Academic Press, London

  3. Babich H, Bewley RJE, Stotzky G (1983) Application of “Ecological Dose” concept to the impact of heavy metals in some microbemediated ecological processes in soil. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 12:421–426

  4. Burns RG (1978) Enzyme activity in soils: Some theoretical and practical considerations. In: Burns RG (ed) Soil enzymes. Academic Press, London, pp 51–96

  5. Burns RG (1982) Enzyme activity in soil: Location and a possible role in microbial ecology. Soil Biol Biochem 14:423–427

  6. Chaney WR, Kelly JM, Strickland RC (1978) Influence of cadmium and zinc on carbon dioxide evolution from litter and soil from a black forest. J Environ Qual 7:115–119

  7. Doelman P, Haanstra L (1984) Short-term and long-term effects of cadmium, chromium, copper, nickel, lead and zinc on microbial respiration in relation to abiotic soil factors. Plant and Soil 79:317–327

  8. Doelman P, Haanstra L (1986) Short- and long-term effects of heavy metals on urease activity in soils. Biol Fertil Soils 2:213–218

  9. Haanstra L, Oude Voshaar JH, Doelman P (1985) The use of sigmoidal dose response curves in soil ecotoxicological research. Plant and Soil 84:293–297

  10. Harrison AF (1983) Relationship between intensity of phosphatase activity and physico-chemical properties in woodland soils. Soil Biol Biochem 15:93–99

  11. Juma NG, Tabatabai MA (1977) Effects of trace elements on phosphatase activity in soils. Soil Sci Soc Am J 41:343–346

  12. Ladd JN, Butler JHA (1975) Humus-enzyme systems and synthetic organic polymer-enzyme analogs. In: Paul EA, McLaren AD (eds) Soil biochemistry, vol 4. Dekker, New York, pp 143–194

  13. Mathé P, Kovacs G (1980) Effect of Mn and Zn on the activity of phosphate in soil: I. Phosphatase activity of a calcareous chernozem soil under maize. Agrokem Talajtan 29:441–446

  14. Mathur SP, Sanderson RB (1980) The partial inactivation of degradative soil enzymes by residual fertilizer copper in Histosols. Soil Sci Soc Am J 44:750–755

  15. McLaren AD (1975) Soil as a system of humus and clay immobilised enzymes. Chem Ser 8:97–99

  16. Nannipieri P (1984) Microbial biomass and activity measurements in soil: Ecological significance. In: Klug MJ, Reddy A (eds) Current perspectives in microbial ecology. Am Soc Microbiol, Washington DC, pp 515–521

  17. Nordgren A, Bath E, Söderström B (1983) Microfungi and microbiol activity along a heavy metal gradient. Appl Environ Microbial 45:1829–1837

  18. Premi PR, Cornfield AH (1969) Effects of addition of copper, manganese, zinc and chromium compounds on ammonification and nitrification during incubation of soil. Plant and Soil 31:345–352

  19. Pugh GJF, Williams JI (1971) Effect of an organo-mercury fungicide on saprophytic fungi and on litter decomposition. Trans Br Mycol Soc 57:164–166

  20. Reber HH (1989) Threshold levels of cadmium for soil respiration and growth of spring wheat (Triticum aestivum), and difficulties with their determination. Biol Fertil Soils 7:152–157

  21. Rother JA, Millbank JW, Thornton I (1982) Seasonal fluctuations in nitrogen fixation (acetylene reduction) by free living bacteria in soils contaminated with cadmium, lead and zinc. J Soil Sci 33:101–113

  22. Rühling A, Tyler P (1973) Heavy metal pollution and decomposition of spruce needle litter. Oikos 24:402–416

  23. Speir TW, Ross DJ (1975) Effects of storage on the acitivities of protease, phosphatase, and arylsulphatase in three soils under pasture. NZ J Sci 18:231–237

  24. Strojan LJ (1978) Forest leaf litter decomposition in the vicinity of a zinc smelter. Oecologia (Berlin) 32:203–212

  25. Tabatabai MA (1977) Effects of trace elements on urease activity in soils. Soil Biol Biochem 9:9–13

  26. Tabatabai MA, Bremner JM (1969) Use of p-nitrophenyl phosphate for assay of soil phosphatase activity. Soil Biol Biochem 1:301–307

  27. Tabatabai MA, Bremner JM (1971) Michaelis constants of soil enzymes. Soil Biol Biochem 3:317–323

  28. Tyler G (1975) Effect of heavy metals on decomposition and mineralization rates in forest soils. Hutchinson TC, Page AL, van Loon JC (eds) Int Conf Heavy Metals in the Environment, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Plenum Press, New York, London, pp 217–226

  29. Tyler G (1976) Heavy metal pollution, phosphatase activity, and mineralization of organic phosphorus in forest soils. Soil Biol Biochem 8:327–332

  30. Walter C, Stadelmann F (1979) Influence du zinc et du cadmium sur les microorganisms ainsi que sur quelques processus biochemiques du sol. Schweiz Landwirtsch Forsch 18:311–324

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to P. Doelman.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Doelman, P., Haanstra, L. Short- and long-term effects of heavy metals on phosphatase activity in soils: An ecological dose-response model approach. Biol Fert Soils 8, 235–241 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00266485

Download citation

Key words

  • Heavy metal toxicity
  • Soil pollution
  • Phosphatase
  • Logistic dose-effect curve
  • Effective ecological dose (ED50)