Research Bulletin 894
trace element interactions in the soil-water environment is essential in
assessing their bioavailability and potential toxicity. Trace elements include
several heavy metals, such as zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), arsenic (As), cadmium
(Cd) and vanadium (V), among others. Several heavy metals such as Zn and Cu are
essential micronutrients required in the growth of both plants and animals.
Micronutrients are often applied in the form of fertilizers or as supplements
in animal feed. Heavy metals are extensively used as fungicides and as
bactericides in numerous pharmaceuticals. The bioavailability of trace elements
in the soil-water environment depends on an array of soil properties, including
soil pH, organic matter (OM) content, amount and type of dominant clay and
carbonates, among others. In addition, the counter ions present in the soil
system greatly influence the fate of trace metals in soils. In fact, several
studies suggested varied interactions of heavy metals with phosphates in soils.
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The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture