Contribution of AM inoculation and cattle manure to lead and cadmium phytoremediation by tobacco plants
Lead and cadmium are both highly toxic pollutants and pose potential risks to the environment and human health. Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) inoculation and organic amendments may make a potential contribution to phytoremediation of these toxic metals, but their effects remain unclear. We conducted a pot culture experiment to study the contribution of AM inoculation and/or cattle manure to phytoremediation of two soils artificially polluted with 0, 350, 500 and 1000 mg Pb per kg soil or 0, 1, 10, 100 mg Cd per kg soil using tobacco plants. Results showed that AM colonization was greatly reduced when exposed to more heavy metals especially Cd, whereas organic amendment alleviated metal stress and showed protective effects. In general, AM inoculation and cattle manure, singly or in combination, all significantly increased tobacco growth and Pb and Cd accumulation in shoots and roots, while decreased DTPA-extractable Pb and Cd concentrations in soil, and combination treatments (MN) produced the most pronounced positive effects. Improved plant P nutrition, higher soil pH and lower available metal concentrations contributed by AM inoculation and/or organic amendment may be the main strategies to alleviate metal toxicity and enhance phytoremediation efficiency. Our results indicate that AM fungi and organic manure play a synergistic positive role both in phytoextraction and phytostabilization of Cd and Pb.