Phytotoxic effects of heavy metal contaminated soil reveal limitations of extract-based ecotoxicological tests

Veronika Gyuricza, F. Fodor, Z. Szigeti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Toxicity of contaminated soils cannot be assessed only by chemical analyses, therefore bioassays are increasingly used. Widely accepted ecotoxicological methods include organisms from all levels of the food-chain but plant-based ones are usually restricted to germination and growth tests. In our study the toxicity of heavy metal contaminated soil samples were examined not only by germination and bacterial tests of their extracts but also by the measurement of physiological parameters of two plant species (cucumber and wheat) that were grown directly on the contaminated substrate. Changes in chlorophyll concentration, stomatal conductance, fluorescence characteristics, and malondialdehyde (MDA) level (showing oxidative damage to lipids in leaves) undoubtedly indicated the mobilisation and toxic effect of contaminants. The results showed that the sensitivity of plant physiological parameters was higher than that of the extract-based ecotoxicological tests. Whereas these latter could not reveal the toxic effect of the highly contaminated soils the plants have reacted in a more complex way and their physiological parameters have changed significantly in all cases validating their use in such studies. The applied measurements also allow quicker and more reliable testing even under field conditions (stomatal conductance) or the detection of a more complex response if detailed analyses is needed (MDA, fluorescence imaging) thus underlining the importance of plant-based methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-122
Number of pages10
JournalWater, Air, and Soil Pollution
Volume210
Issue number1-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010

Fingerprint

Heavy Metals
Heavy metals
Poisons
heavy metal
Malondialdehyde
Soils
Toxicity
stomatal conductance
Fluorescence
germination
fluorescence
Bioassay
Chlorophyll
toxicity
Lipids
food chain
Impurities
mobilization
Imaging techniques
bioassay

Keywords

  • Bioassays
  • Dehydrogenase activity
  • Fluorescence imaging
  • MDA
  • Plant stress
  • Stomatal conductance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Ecological Modelling
  • Water Science and Technology

Cite this

Phytotoxic effects of heavy metal contaminated soil reveal limitations of extract-based ecotoxicological tests. / Gyuricza, Veronika; Fodor, F.; Szigeti, Z.

In: Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, Vol. 210, No. 1-4, 07.2010, p. 113-122.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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