Water, Air, & Soil Pollution

, 229:294 | Cite as

Impact of a Variable Tungsten Pollution on the Elemental Uptake of Two Plant Species

  • Khadija SemhiEmail author
  • René Boutin
  • Nallusamy Sivakumar
  • Walid Al Busaidi
  • Abdallah Al Hamdi
  • Khamis Al Dhafri
  • Ahmed Al Busaidi


A radish and a grass species were grown in identical substrates either unpolluted or polluted by tungsten (W) at 1, 5, and 10 μg/g levels of watering solutions during 1 month under controlled laboratory conditions. Initially, at 4.1 μg/g, the W content in grass leaves reached 16 μg/g at the highest rate of W supply to the substrate. For radish, the content of W reached 22 and 29 μg/g in the leaves and roots, respectively. The overall W pollution increased significantly the mobility of major elements from substrate to grass leaves, especially at the 5 μg/g pollution level, whereas the W impact on radish leaves resulted in an increase of most contents, only Mn remaining unaffected. The roots from polluted radishes were enriched in Si by 21% and Al by 42% at low pollution, and in Si by 15% at high supply, whereas the uptake of the other elements remained unchanged. It looks like the W pollution at the levels chosen does not impact the transfer of the major and trace elements from roots to leaves of Raphanus sativus. Alternatively, metallic trace elements (Ba, Ni, Cr, Zn, W, Co) of the Raphanus sativus and Chloris gayana leaves outline similar content changes depending on the amount of W pollution. The total rare-earth element contents of the leaves of Raphanus sativus grown in the polluted substrates are lower than those of the leaves from unpolluted substrate. Their normalization in the leaves and roots of Raphanus sativus from the polluted substrates to those of the radish from non-polluted substrate provides flat patterns for both with a positive Eu anomaly for leaves, as for those of the grass and a negative Gd anomaly for roots. Also, addition of soluble W to the substrates induced an increase in the bacterial activity of the soil.


Tungsten Leaves and roots Major- Trace- Rare-earth elemental uptake Fractionation 



The authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments. We also would like to thank Dr. Norbert Clauer for his support and the staff of department of soil and water from College of Agriculture (SQU, Oman) for their support during the experimentation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Khadija Semhi
    • 1
    Email author
  • René Boutin
    • 2
  • Nallusamy Sivakumar
    • 1
  • Walid Al Busaidi
    • 3
  • Abdallah Al Hamdi
    • 1
  • Khamis Al Dhafri
    • 1
    • 4
  • Ahmed Al Busaidi
    • 3
  1. 1.College of ScienceSultan Qaboos UniversityMuscatSultanate of Oman
  2. 2.Laboratoire d’Hydrologie et de Géochimie de Strasbourg, (CNRS/UdS)StrasbourgFrance
  3. 3.College of AgricultureSultan Qaboos UniversityMuscatSultanate of Oman
  4. 4.Microbial Biotech Lab, Division of Microbiology, Department Of Genetics and Microbiology, Institute Of Biological Sciences, Faculty of ScienceUniversity Of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia

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