Affordable Access

Heavy metals in paddy fields in Taiwan: chemical behavior in soil and uptake by brown rice

  • Chu, C.L.
  • Romkens, P.F.A.M.
  • Guo, H.Y.
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2009
Wageningen University and Researchcenter Publications
External links


Levels of cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) were measured in 19 individual paddy fields in Taiwan. Total, reactive, and available metal levels were measured using Aqua Regia, 0.43 N HNO3, 0.1 M HCl, 0.05 M EDTA and 0.01 M CaCl2. Total metal levels ranged from below background levels to polluted and were highly heterogeneous across most fields. In general levels of metals in the soil decreased with an increase in distance from the water inlet which suggests that most metals originate from the irrigation water. Availability as measured by 0.01 M CaCl2 could be predicted well (Cd, Ni, Zn) by a Freundlich model similar to the one used in non-tropical soils. The fit of models for Cu and Pb was poor due to the lack of data on dissolved organic carbon (DOC). For Cr no fit was obtained at all. Uptake of Cd by rice was highly correlated to the availability as measured by CaCl2. Uptake models based on either the CaCl2 extractable Cd and Zn in soil solution, or a combination of the reactive Cd content in combination with pH and CEC proved equally suitable to predict Cd in rice. The impact of pH and, to a lesser extent, CEC urges the need to considere both properties when deriving soil quality standards (SQS). Uptake by rice by Indica species was markedly higher than that of Japonica although uptake by roots proved to be similar between both species. This suggests that differences between Japonica and Indica are more related to internal redistribution rather than differences in root uptake processes. Using the models, user friendly tools are designed allowing farmers and policy makers alike to evaluate the quality of the soil for a specific cultivar. This allows for a more accurate assessment of the suitability of the soil to be used for rice cropping compared to present soil standards based on Aqua Regia or HCl. As such the approach can be transferred easily to other countries as well based on a limited number of field tests.

Report this publication


Seen <100 times