Under the influence of pollutants, enzyme activities in plant-microbe-soil systems undergo changes of great importance in predicting soil-plant-microbe interactions, regulation of metal and nutrient uptake, and, ultimately, improvement of soil health and fertility. We evaluated the influence of As on soil enzyme activities and the effectiveness of five field crops for As phytoextraction. The initial As concentration in soil was 50mg As kg(-1) soil; planted clean soil, unplanted polluted soil, and unplanted clean soil served as controls. After 10 weeks, the growth of the plants elevated soil dehydrogenase activity relative to polluted but unplanted control soils by 2.4- and 2.5-fold for sorghum and sunflower (respectively), by 3-fold for ryegrass and sudangrass, and by 5.2-fold for spring rape. Soil peroxidase activity increased by 33% with ryegrass and rape, while soil phosphatase activity was directly correlated with residual As (correlation coefficient R(2)=0.7045). We conclude that soil enzyme activities should be taken into account when selecting plants for phytoremediation.
Keywords: Arsenic; Dehydrogenase; Peroxidase; Phosphatase; Phytoremediation.
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