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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Department of Plant Sciences

UC Davis

Crop growth as influenced by Zinc and organic matter in Cadmium-rich polluted soils


A screen house experiment was carried out to study interaction between Cd and Zn in spinach. The crop was raised for 45 days in a Typic Ustochrept at four levels each of Cd (0, 10, 20 and 40 mg kg-1 soil) and Zn (0, 20, 40 and 80 mg kg-1 soil) with and without farmyard manure application. The experimental soil was sandy loam, non-saline (EC 0.20 dSm-1) and alkaline (pH 8.6) with low organic carbon content (0.30%). It had 0.02 mg Cd kg-1 soil and 0.67 mg Zn kg-1 soil as extracted with diethylene triamine penta acetic acid (DTPA). The results of the investigation revealed significant increase in dry matter yield of spinach with increasing application of Zn. On the other hand, addition of Cd caused a marked decline in the dry matter yield. Shoot Zn and Cd concentration increased with their respective application. While addition of Zn suppressed Cd concentration of shoot, Cd application caused an increase in Zn concentration. Application of farmyard manure (FYM) helped improve dry matter yield irrespective of the dose of Cd by reducing the Cd supply from the soil leading to decreased Cd concentration and increased Zn concentration in plants. As such the results of the investigation have shown that organic manure can play a vital role in counteracting the harmful effects of excess Cd in soil.

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