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Chapter 17 - Phytoremediation of Metal-Contaminated Soils Using Organic Amendments: Prospects and Challenges

Elsevier Inc.
DOI: 10.1016/b978-0-12-799937-1.00017-6
  • Organic Amendments
  • Metal-Contaminated Soils
  • Re-Vegetation
  • Phytoremediation
  • Biology
  • Chemistry


Abstract Metals occur in soils through natural and anthropogenic sources. Metals enter into the human food chain through plant uptake and thus cause human health problems. Different techniques are used for the safe use of metal-contaminated soils. Growing plants to remediate metal-contaminated soils (phytoremediation) is a good technique for soils with low to moderate levels of metal contamination. However, adverse growth conditions due to low fertility, metal toxicity and physico-chemical conditions restricted the plant growth. Addition of amendments to immobilize the metals is common practice to detoxify the metals in the soils. Among amendments, organic amendments are important due to their role in improving soil physico-chemical, biological properties and nutrient availability and thus favour the plant growth and re-vegetation of contaminated soils. Organic amendments undergo transformation with time due to decomposition of organic matter and thus their effect on phytoavailability of metals is greatly altered. However, the immobilizing effects of organic amendments at the initial stage after their application are important for re-vegetation of metal-contaminated soils. In this chapter, we discuss the role of organic amendments to immobilize metals, improve plant growth and subsequent release of metals due to decomposition of organic matter.

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