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The effects of Soil amendments and Vegetation on Pb mobility in contaminated Shooting range Soils

Author Affiliations

  • 1Soil and Water Science Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-0290, USA
  • 2University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, 2300 College Station Road, Athens, GA 30602, USA

Int. Res. J. Environment Sci., Volume 5, Issue (2), Pages 42-50, February,22 (2016)


The use of readily available soil amendments to immobilize Pb is a cost effective way to reduce lead mobility. This study evaluated the effects of two soil amendments (lime and phosphate rock) and vegetation on mobility of Pb in contaminated shooting range soils. St Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum) was planted in shooting range soils amended with either 5% phosphate rock (PR) or lime for ten months with un-vegetated soils serving as the control. Both lime and PR application reduced plant biomass of St Augustine grass suggesting that the application level of both soil amendments was excessive. The effectiveness of both soil amendments was reduced in a calcareous soil probably due to high calcium content of both soil amendments. Lime reduced the leaching of Pb more effectively than PR though vegetation enhanced the effectiveness of the PR treatment. Vegetation reduced leaching of Pb but increased water-soluble Pb in the soil with a few exceptions. Despite the pH limitation, PR was more effective at reducing water-soluble Pb and plant Pb uptake than lime. PR in combination with vegetation (grasses) is recommended for Pb immobilization in shooting range soils with low pH and low Ca content.


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