Accumulation and relationship of metals in different soil aggregate fractions along soil profiles

Mingkui Zhang , Qian Shen , Mengjie Wu


Received January 04, 2021,Revised , Accepted July 06, 2021, Available online August 01, 2021

Volume 34,2022,Pages 47-54

Different aggregates vary in their ability to retain or adsorb metals in soil. Five soil profiles were sampled from different soil horizons and grouped, and the concentrations of Al, Mg, Ca, Fe, Mn, Cd, Cu and Pb were determined in six sizes of aggregates (> 2, 2-1, 1-0.6, 0.6-0.25, 0.25-0.053, < 0.053 mm). Significantly high (p < 0.05) structural stability indexes (SSI) and aggregate stability indexes (ASI) were recorded in the topsoil horizon, which may be attributed to the high soil organic matter (SOM) content in aggregates from topsoil. In addition, ASI and SSI were positively correlated (r = 0.569, p < 0.05) with each other, which indicated that the stability of soil aggregates could contribute to the structural stability of bulk soil. Moreover, accumulation factors (AF), principal component analysis (PCA) and Pearson's correlation coefficients were used for metal element assessment. The results indicated that SOM was not a key factor affecting the accumulation of Ca, Mg, Al, Fe, Mn, Pb, Cd and Cu in soil aggregates. In general, AF values for metal elements in microaggregates (< 0.25 mm) were high, which showed that metals preferred to accumulate in fine soil aggregates. The PCA and Pearson's correlation coefficients indicated that soil parent materials primarily controlled the distribution of Al, Ca, Fe, Mg and Mn, while materials derived from technogenic sources have important impacts on the distribution of Cd, Cu and Pb in soil aggregates along the soil profile.

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