• Cd;
  • Cd : Zn ratio;
  • barley;
  • speciation;
  • soil solution;
  • phosphate;
  • fertilizer


A greenhouse experiment was conducted to investigate the immediate effect of application of mono-ammonium phosphate (MAP), single superphosphate (SSP), and triple superphosphate (TSP) fertilizers containing varying concentrations of Cd on (1) chemical speciation of Cd and Zn in soil solution by chemical-equilibrium calculations (MINEQL+4.6 model), (2) growth of barley plants, (3) concentrations of Cd, P, and Zn in soil solution and plant tissue, as well as total plant accumulation of Cd, P, and Zn, and (4) monitoring pH and element changes during incubation periods following phosphate application. Results show that, in general, the pH of soil solution increased during the first 40 d of incubation, then declined. Also, at the end of incubation period, pH of soil solution was affected by fertilization source and fertilization rate. The concentration of Cd in soil solution changed with time. Phosphate fertilization (p < 0.05) or fertilizer source (p < 0.05) showed consistent effects. Also, the application of phosphate fertilizers with three rates significantly increased Zn concentrations in soil solution during the first half (0–30 d) of incubation period and then decreased but still more than in the control. In general, application of different sources of phosphate at 100 g kg–1 did not change the dominant forms of Cd in soil solution during all incubation time intervals. Speciation of Zn in the control after 30 d of incubation had changed, in comparison to 10 d of incubation, and the dominant forms were Zn2+, ZnOH+, ZnHCO3, ZnCO3(aq), and Zn(OH)2(aq). Adding phosphate fertilizer significantly increased both shoot and root dry weight compared to control, indicating P was a growth-limiting factor in the control plants. The Zn concentrations in shoot and root were lower in the TSP- and SSP-fertilizers treatment than those in the MAP and fertilizer treatments at all rates of fertilization. Adding phosphate increased the Cd : Zn and P : Zn ratios in the shoot and root tissue, with the effect being greater with increasing fertilization rate. Phosphate fertilization greatly increased the total accumulation of Cd of barley compared with the control plants (p < 0.001), with the effect being greater with increasing fertilization rate. Source and rate of fertilizers, and their interactions had significant effect (p < 0.05) on Cd accumulation in the whole plant.