Organic amendments have been proposed as a means of remediation for Cd-contaminated soils. However, understanding the inhibitory effects of organic materials on metal immobilization requires further research. In this study colza cake, a typical organic amendment material, was investigated in order to elucidate the ability of this material to reduce toxicity of Cd-contaminated soil. Available concentrations of Cd in soils were measured using an in situ
diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT) technique in combination with traditional chemical methods, such as HOAc (aqua regia), EDTA (ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid), NaOAc (sodium acetate), CaCl2
, and labile Cd in pore water. These results were applied to predict the Cd bioavailability after the addition of colza cake to Cd-contaminated soil. Two commonly grown cash crops, wheat and maize, were selected for Cd accumulation studies, and were found to be sensitive to Cd bioavailability. Results showed that the addition of colza cake may inhibit the growth of wheat and maize. Furthermore, the addition of increasing colza cake doses led to decreasing shoot and root biomass accumulation. However, increasing colza cake doses did lead to the reduction of Cd accumulation in plant tissues, as indicated by the decreasing Cd concentrations in shoots and roots. The labile concentration of Cd obtained by DGT measurements and the traditional chemical extraction methods, showed the clear decrease of Cd with the addition of increasing colza cake doses. All indicators showed significant positive correlations (p
< 0.01) with the accumulation of Cd in plant tissues, however, all of the methods could not reflect plant growth status. Additionally, the capability of Cd to change from solid phase to become available in a soil solution decreased with increasing colza cake doses. This was reflected by the decreases in the ratio (R
) value of CDGT
. Our study suggests that the sharp decrease in R
values could not only reflect the extremely low capability of labile Cd to be released from its solid phase, but may also be applied to evaluate the abnormal growth of the plants.
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