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Uptake of inorganic chemicals from soil by plant leaves: Regressions of field data

Authors

  • Rebecca A. Efroymson,

    Corresponding author
    1. Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, PO Box 2008, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831–6036, USA
    • Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, PO Box 2008, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831–6036, USA
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  • Bradley E. Sample,

    1. Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, PO Box 2008, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831–6036, USA
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  • Glenn W. Suter II

    1. Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, PO Box 2008, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831–6036, USA
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  • Publication 5067, Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory. This article has been authorized by a contractor of the U.S. government. Accordingly, the U.S. government retains a nonexclusive, royalty-free license to publish or reproduce the published form of this contribution or allow others to do so for U.S. government purposes.

Abstract

The estimation of chemical concentrations in wildlife foods, such as plant foliage, is often performed for risk assessments at contaminated sites. Regression models and uptake factors for use in estimating the uptake of inorganic elements from soil by above-ground plant tissues were derived in this study. These included models for arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, selenium, and zinc. Models were developed using published data from soil contaminated in the field and were validated using measured concentrations from two contaminated sites. Single-variable regression models of log-transformed concentrations in plants versus log-transformed concentrations in soil are generally recommended over simple uptake factors for use in estimating plant uptake of inorganic contaminants in ecological risk assessments. Multiple regression models with soil concentration and pH as the variables are also recommended for estimating the uptake of four chemicals (cadmium, mercury, selenium, and zinc) by plants. Models for use in screening risk assessments, i.e., the upper 95% prediction limits on the regressions, are recommended to provide conservative estimates of uptake of inorganic chemicals by plants.

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