Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

The influence of weathering and organic matter on heavy metals lability in silicatic, Alpine soils


Egli, M; Sartori, G; Mirabella, A; Giaccai, D; Favilli, F; Scherrer, D; Krebs, R; Delbos, E (2010). The influence of weathering and organic matter on heavy metals lability in silicatic, Alpine soils. Science of the Total Environment, 408(4):931 - 946.

Abstract

We investigated the effect of organic matter and weathering on the lability and solid phase speciation of heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn) in two contrasting subalpine regions in the Italian Alps. Cr, Ni and Cu could be linked to weathering. This was not the case for Pb. Since organic matter (OM) influences the solid phase speciation of heavy metals, the total organic C and N content, the C and N content of different density fractions of OM and also of the labile (oxidised by H2O2) and stable (H2O2-resistant) fractions were determined. Soil OM stocks were high and soils on north-facing slopes had more OM than the south-facing sites to which they were paired. Density measurements and the H2O2 fractionation indicated that the higher OM content on north-facing sites was due to an accumulation of weakly degraded organic material. Due to higher weathering intensity on north-facing sites, the abundance of the EDTA-extractable heavy metals was higher than on south-facing sites. All EDTA-extractable heavy metals showed a good correlation to the water-soluble phenolic concentrations which indicates that the metals were probably translocated as metalorganic complexes. Pb and Cu correlate not only to the light (density b1 g/cm3) and labile, organic fraction but also to the heavy (densityN2g/cm3) and stable fraction. High-mountain ecosystems like the Alps are sensitive to changing environmental conditions such as global warming. A warmer climate and the more favourable conditions it brings for biological activity, especially at cooler sites, will probably lead in the short- to mid-term to an increased loss of accumulated, weakly degraded OM. As the Pb and Cu content is significantly related to the labile organic matter pools, the risk exists that an increase in OM mineralisation could affect the storage capacity and mobility of these metals in soils.

Abstract

We investigated the effect of organic matter and weathering on the lability and solid phase speciation of heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn) in two contrasting subalpine regions in the Italian Alps. Cr, Ni and Cu could be linked to weathering. This was not the case for Pb. Since organic matter (OM) influences the solid phase speciation of heavy metals, the total organic C and N content, the C and N content of different density fractions of OM and also of the labile (oxidised by H2O2) and stable (H2O2-resistant) fractions were determined. Soil OM stocks were high and soils on north-facing slopes had more OM than the south-facing sites to which they were paired. Density measurements and the H2O2 fractionation indicated that the higher OM content on north-facing sites was due to an accumulation of weakly degraded organic material. Due to higher weathering intensity on north-facing sites, the abundance of the EDTA-extractable heavy metals was higher than on south-facing sites. All EDTA-extractable heavy metals showed a good correlation to the water-soluble phenolic concentrations which indicates that the metals were probably translocated as metalorganic complexes. Pb and Cu correlate not only to the light (density b1 g/cm3) and labile, organic fraction but also to the heavy (densityN2g/cm3) and stable fraction. High-mountain ecosystems like the Alps are sensitive to changing environmental conditions such as global warming. A warmer climate and the more favourable conditions it brings for biological activity, especially at cooler sites, will probably lead in the short- to mid-term to an increased loss of accumulated, weakly degraded OM. As the Pb and Cu content is significantly related to the labile organic matter pools, the risk exists that an increase in OM mineralisation could affect the storage capacity and mobility of these metals in soils.

Statistics

Citations

18 citations in Web of Science®
19 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

80 downloads since deposited on 11 Feb 2011
8 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2010
Deposited On:11 Feb 2011 17:11
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:37
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0048-9697
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2009.10.005

Download

Preview Icon on Download
Filetype: PDF (Verlags-PDF) - Registered users only
Size: 1MB
View at publisher
Preview Icon on Download
Preview
Content: Accepted Version
Filetype: PDF
Size: 1MB

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations