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Dynamics of Zn in an urban wetland soil–plant system: coupling isotopic and EXAFS approaches

Abstract : Plants play a key role in the stabilization of metals in contaminated environments. Studies have been performed on Zn uptake and storage mechanisms, mainly for Zn hyperaccumulating plants, though less is known about Zn stabilization in the rhizosphere of non-accumulating plants. This study was focused on the dynamics of Zn in a whole soil–litter–plant system and the processes controlling Zn mobilization and stabilization. The site studied was an infiltration basin receiving urban stormwater, in which Phalaris arundinacea (reed canary grass) developed spontaneously. A combination of chemical extractions (CaCl2, DTPA), EXAFS spectroscopy and Zn stable isotope measurements was applied for the water inlet, soil, plant organs and decaying biomass. Zn speciation changed from the water inlet to the soil. In the soil, Zn was present as Zn-layered double hydroxide (Zn-LDH), tetrahedral and octahedral sorbed Zn species. The formation of Zn-LDH participates in Zn stabilization. Tetrahedral Zn species, which were partly DTPA exchangeable, were enriched in heavy isotopes, whereas octahedral Zn (Zn-LDH and sorbed species) were enriched in light isotopes. Based on a linear model between δ66Zn and Zn speciation, δ66Zn for pure tetrahedral and octahedral end-members were estimated at ca. 0.33‰ and 0.04‰, respectively. In the plant, a mixture of octahedral Zn (attributed to aqueous Zn-organic acid complexes present in the symplasm), and tetrahedral Zn (attributed to apoplasmic Zn-cell wall complexes) was observed in all organs. Large enrichment in light isotopes from the soil to the plant Δ66Zn (of ca. −0.6‰) was observed. The stem was enriched in light isotopes versus roots and, to a lesser extent, versus leaves. The results suggest that Zn was taken up via a low-affinity transport system and that Zn was sequestrated in the stem symplasm after transit through leaves. Finally, intense Zn exchanges were observed between the decaying biomass and the soil, with the sorption of heavy Zn from the soil to cell wall remains and release of light Zn to the soil. Overall, this study provides a complete overview of Zn cycling in an urban wetland soil–plant system, and describes several changes in Zn speciation with Zn isotopic fractionation processes in a complex system.
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Anne Marie Aucour, Jean-Philippe Bedell, Marine Queyron, Valérie Magnin, Denis Testemale, et al.. Dynamics of Zn in an urban wetland soil–plant system: coupling isotopic and EXAFS approaches. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Elsevier, 2015, 160, pp.55-69. ⟨10.1016/j.gca.2015.03.040⟩. ⟨hal-01314549⟩



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