Can we predict uranium bioavailability based on soil parameters? Part 2: Soil solution uranium concentration is not a good bioavailability index.

Hildegarde Vandenhove, May Van Hees, Jean Wannijn, Kristien Wouters, Lian Wang, Yves Thiry

Research outputpeer-review


The present study aimed to quantify the influence of soil parameters on uranium uptake by ryegrass. Ryegrass was established on eighteen distinct soils, spiked with 238U. Uranium soil-to-plant transfer factors (TF) ranged from 0.0003 to 0.0340 kg kg-1. There was no significant relation between the U soil-to-plant transfer (or total U uptake or flux) and the uranium concentration in the soil solution or any other soil factor measured, nor with the U recovered following selective soil extractions. Multiple linear regression analysis resulted in a significant though complex model explaining up to 99 % of variation in TF. The influence of uranium speciation on uranium uptake observed was featured: UO22+, uranyl carbonate complexes and UO2PO4- seem the U species being preferentially taken up by the roots and transferred to the shoots. Improved correlations were obtained when relating the uranium TF with the summed soil solution concentrations of mentioned uranium species.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)577-586
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
StatePublished - Jan 2007

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