, Volume 28, Issue 7, pp 790–800 | Cite as

Magnitude of the mixture hormetic response of soil alkaline phosphatase can be predicted based on single conditions of Cd and Pb

  • Yongli Zhu
  • Chenglei Liu
  • Yang You
  • Jian Liu
  • Yanhui Guo
  • Jiangang HanEmail author


In soil ecosystems, it is very challenging to predict mixture hormesis effects. In the present study, soil alkaline phosphatase (ALP) was selected to investigate and predict its potential hormetic responses under Cd and Pb stresses. Typical reverse U-shaped dose–response relationships between ALP activities and the single and combined Cd and Pb were observed, showing a hormetic response of soil itself. The maximum stimulatory magnitudes ranged in 8.0 – 8.6% under 0.004 – 0.2 mg/kg Cd and 80 – 400 mg/kg Pb, respectively. An enhanced stimulation of 15.7% occurred under the binary mixtures of 0.6 mg/kg Cd and 200 mg/kg Pb. In addition, a dosage-independent binary linear regression model was proposed based on an assumption of a linear relationship between the single and combined hormetic responses under Cd and Pb. Our model can well predict ALP’s responses in the presence of the two metals’ mixtures (p < 0.1). Our findings provided new understandings to hormesis in soil.


Alkaline phosphatase Cadmium Hormesis Lead Hormesis in soil 



The financial support of National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41471191) and Qing Lan project are greatly acknowledged.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

We declare that we have no financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that can inappropriately influence our work, there is no professional or other personal interest of any nature or kind in any product, service and/or company that could be construed as influencing the position presented in, or the review of, the manuscript entitled.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yongli Zhu
    • 1
  • Chenglei Liu
    • 1
  • Yang You
    • 2
  • Jian Liu
    • 1
  • Yanhui Guo
    • 1
  • Jiangang Han
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.College of Biology and the EnvironmentNanjing Forestry UniversityNanjingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Beijing Water Science and Technology InstituteBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Collaborative Innovation Center of Sustainable Forestry in Southern China of Jiangsu ProvinceNanjing Forestry UniversityNanjingPeople’s Republic of China

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