Biological and chemical assessments of zinc ageing in field soils

Erica Donner, Kris Broos, Diane Heemsbergen, Michael St J. Warne, Mike J. McLaughlin, Mark E. Hodson, Stephen Nortcliff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


As zinc (Zn) is both an essential trace element and potential toxicant, the effects of Zn fixation in soil are of practical significance. Soil samples from four field sites amended with ZnSO4 were used to investigate ageing of soluble Zn under field conditions over a 2-year period. Lability of Zn measured using 65Zn radioisotope dilution showed a significant decrease over time and hence evidence of Zn fixation in three of the four soils. However, 0.01 M CaCl2 extractions and toxicity measurements using a genetically modified lux-marked bacterial biosensor did not indicate a decrease in soluble/bioavailable Zn over time. This was attributed to the strong regulatory effect of abiotic properties such as pH on these latter measurements. These results also showed that Zn ageing occurred immediately after Zn spiking, emphasising the need to incubate freshly spiked soils before ecotoxicity assessments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-345
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Issue number1
Early online date25 Jul 2009
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Ageing
  • Attenuation
  • Isotopic dilution
  • Lability
  • Lux biosensor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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