Potential phytoavailability of anthropogenic cobalt in soils as measured by isotope dilution techniques

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Isotope dilution is a useful technique to determine the potential phytoavailability of an element in soil. This method involves equilibrating an isotope with soil and then sampling the labile metal pool by analysis of the soil solution (E value) or plants growing in the soil (L value). The work reported here was conducted to evaluate the distribution coefficient (Kd), and the potential phytoavailability (E value) of cobalt (Co) in eight soils subjected to the atmospheric deposition of anthropogenic Co. Multiple regression analyses demonstrated that the Kd of isotopically exchangeable Co in these soils was best modelled with two parameters: soil pH and organic carbon (OC) content (log Kd = 0.85(pH) + 1.1(logOC) - 5.0, R2 = 0.94, p less than or equal 0.01). Cobalt E values ranged from 1.5 to 37% of total soil Co concentrations. No evidence was obtained to suggest that Co(III), if present, was isotopically exchangeable in these soils and it was concluded that the Co E values consisted solely of Co(II). Cobalt L values, measured with Triticum aestivum L. (46 days), of two of these soils (varying in soil pH, e.g. 5.0 and 7.2) were statistically (p less than or equal 0.05) different to E values. However, when changes of bulk soil pH on Co E values were considered, the two values were statistically (p less than or equal 0.05) similar indicating that processes affecting soil pH during plant growth can alter isotopically exchangeable concentrations of Co. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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Gouget, B
Bakkaus, E
Collins, Richard
Morel, J
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Journal Article
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UNSW Faculty