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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 309396, 10 pages
Research Article

Evaluation of Phytoavailability of Heavy Metals to Chinese Cabbage (Brassica chinensis L.) in Rural Soils

1Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, Pingtung 91201, Taiwan
2Institute of Soil Research, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, 1190 Vienna, Austria

Received 24 June 2014; Accepted 17 August 2014; Published 11 September 2014

Academic Editor: Christophe Waterlot

Copyright © 2014 Yao-Tsung Chang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study compared the extractability of Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn by 8 extraction protocols for 22 representative rural soils in Taiwan and correlated the extractable amounts of the metals with their uptake by Chinese cabbage for developing an empirical model to predict metal phytoavailability based on soil properties. Chemical agents in these protocols included dilute acids, neutral salts, and chelating agents, in addition to water and the Rhizon soil solution sampler. The highest concentrations of extractable metals were observed in the HCl extraction and the lowest in the Rhizon sampling method. The linear correlation coefficients between extractable metals in soil pools and metals in shoots were higher than those in roots. Correlations between extractable metal concentrations and soil properties were variable; soil pH, clay content, total metal content, and extractable metal concentration were considered together to simulate their combined effects on crop uptake by an empirical model. This combination improved the correlations to different extents for different extraction methods, particularly for Pb, for which the extractable amounts with any extraction protocol did not correlate with crop uptake by simple correlation analysis.