Phosphate Fertilizer Enhances Arsenic Uptake by Apricot Liners Grown in Lead-arsenate-enriched Soil

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  • 1 Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center, Washington State University, 1100 North Western Avenue, Wenatchee, WA 98801

Phosphate fertilizer additions to soils containing lead arsenate (LA) pesticide residues can increase As volubility. Apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) rootstock liners were grown in nondraining pots containing Burch loam soil that received a factorial treatment combination: 1) LA enrichment [no added LA (-LA), and LA added at 138 mg Pb/kg and 50 mg As/kg (+LA)]; 2) fertilizer type [monoammonium phosphate (MAP) and its sulfur analog ammonium hydrogen sulfate (AHS)]; and 3) fertilizer anion rate (0-26.1 mol/m3 soil). Measured response variables were soil salinity and pH, plant biomass, and plant As and Pb concentrations. Both MAP and AHS increased soil electrical conductivity (EC) and decreased soil pH, with AHS usually being more salinizing and acidifying than MAP was at equivalent rates. Adding LA reduced shoot and root mass and increased As and Pb concentration in shoots and roots. Shoot and root mass were inversely related to soil EC in the -LA soil but not in the +LA soil. Adding MAP increased shoot and root As concentration in the +LA soil, but adding AHS had no effect. Fertilizer type and rate did not influence shoot As concentration or root Pb concentration in the -LA soil or shoot Pb concentration in either the +LA or -LA soil. Adding AHS to the +LA soil increased root Pb concentration. These results are consistent with a P-enhanced solid-phase As release mechanism, which consequently increases plant uptake of soil As. Phosphate amendment had no effect on soil Pb phytoavailability.

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