Manure-mixed biochar decreases concentration of Cadmium and arsenic in fruits of tomato grown in coal mine tailing debris-contaminated soil

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Research Paper 01/11/2021
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Manure-mixed biochar decreases concentration of Cadmium and arsenic in fruits of tomato grown in coal mine tailing debris-contaminated soil

Abdul Rauf, Shamim Gul, Saeed Ullah Jan, Tasawar Ali Chandio, Gul Bano Rehman
Int. J. Biosci.19( 5), 1-9, November 2021.
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Tomato is one of the major vegetable crops of the province of Balochistan, Pakistan. This province has been under extensive mining activities for decades for various minerals. Heavy metals from these activities enter into the food chain via particulate dispersion in air, water and soil while eventually getting absorbed into crops. Empirical reports suggest that the use of biochar as an amendment in agricultural lands reduces the absorption of heavy metals by crops from contaminated soil. In this study, the soil was contaminated with coal mine tailing debris. A mixture of air-dried poultry manure with wood biochar or farmyard manure biochar at the ratio of 1:1 w:w was amended in soil. For the treatment of thorough mixing of fertilizer in the soil, biochar-based organic fertilizer was applied at the rates of 5 and 10 t ha-1 and the soil was contaminated with 10 t ha-1 of debris from coal mine tailings. To assess the influence of fertilizer in heavily-contaminated soil, debris was placed in the root zone of tomato at 166.5 t ha-1 rate and fertilizers were added at 33.3 and 66.6 t ha-1 rates, followed by their mixing with debris. The fertilizers decreased the concentration of Cadmium (Cd) by 63 – 83% and arsenic (As) by 51 – 73% in tomato fruits than control (P ≤ 0.05) in low-contaminated soil. In high-contaminated soil, fertilizers decreased the concentration of Cd by 40 – 49% and As by 44 – 56% in tomato fruits (P ≤ 0.05). A negative correlation was observed between the level of contamination in soil (i.e., root-zone application versus thoroughly mixing of debris in soil) and the potential of fertilizer in reducing the concentration of heavy metals in fruits of tomato (R2 = 0.79; P < 0.01 for Cd and R2 = 0.27; P < 0.01 for As). The application of poultry manure-mixed biochar in coal mine tailing contaminated soil has the potential for reducing the concentration of these heavy metals in tomato fruits.  


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