The influence of various organic amendments on the bioavailability and plant uptake of cadmium present in mine-degraded soil

Muhammad Amjad Khan, Xiaodong Ding, Sardar Khan, Mark L. Brusseau, Anwarzeb Khan, Javed Nawab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Mining of minerals and precious elements leads to land degradation that need to be reclaimed using environmentally friendly and cost effective techniques. The present study investigated the potential effects of different organic amendments on cadmium (Cd) bioavailability in mining-degraded soil and its subsequent bioaccumulation in tomato and cucumber. The selected organic geosorbents (hard wood biochar (HWB), bagasse (BG), rice husk (RH), and maize comb waste (MCW)) were added at application rates of 3% and 5% to chromite mine-degraded soil containing Cd. Tomato and cucumber plants were then grown in the soil, and the roots, shoots, leaves, and fruits of each plant were analysed for Cd concentration, biomass production, and chlorophyll content. The results indicated that the different organic materials have variable effects on physiochemical characteristics of vegetables and Cd bioavailability. The biochar amendment significantly (P < 0.01) increased chlorophyll contents (20–40%) and biomass (40–63%), as did RH to a lesser extent (increase of 10–18% in chlorophyll content and 3–45% in biomass). Among the amendments, HWB was the most effective at reducing Cd bioavailability, wherein significant decreases were observed in Cd uptake by fruits of tomato (24–30%) and cucumber (36–54%). The higher application rate of 5% was found to be more effective for mitigation of Cd mobility and bioaccumulation in plants grown in mine degraded soil. The study results indicate that effective use of organic amendments, especially HWB, can significantly reduce Cd levels in vegetables, improve food quality, and reduce human-health risk while increasing biomass production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)810-817
Number of pages8
JournalScience of the Total Environment
StatePublished - Sep 15 2018


  • Cadmium availability and bioaccumulation
  • Degraded soil
  • Organic amendment
  • Plant uptake

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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