Interactive Effect of Radioactive and Heavy-Metal Contamination on Soil Enzyme Activity in a Former Uranium Mine
Gang Yang1, Faqin Dong2, Mingxue Liu1, Xiaoqin Nie4, Meirong Zong3, Changhui Peng6, Huai Chen5, Hongfu Wei1, Pingping Wang2, Wei Zhang2
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1School of Life Science and Engineering, Southwest University of Science and Technology, Mianyang 621010, China
2Key Laboratory of Solid Waste Treatment and Resource Recycling, Ministry of Education,
Southwest University of Science and Technology, Mianyang 621010, China
3School of Earth Science and Engineering, Nanjing Univiersity, Nanjing 210023, China
4Fundamental Science on Nuclear Wastes and Environmental Safety Laboratory-Collaborative Innovation Center
of Nuclear Wastes and Environmental Safety, Southwest University of Science and Technology
5CAS Key Laboratory of Mountain Ecological Restoration and Bioresources Utilization and Ecological Restoration
Biodiversity Conservation Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Chengdu Institute of Biology,
Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China
6Center of CEF/ESCER, Department of Biological Science, University of Quebec at Montreal,
Montreal H3C 3P8, Canada
Submission date: 2017-06-11
Final revision date: 2017-07-24
Acceptance date: 2017-07-31
Online publication date: 2018-02-05
Publication date: 2018-03-12
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2018;27(3):1343–1351
Radioactivity and heavy metal toxicity of multi-metal deposits coexisting with the element uranium (U) could have long-term adverse impacts on soil biological processes and the health of soil ecosystems. Soil enzyme activities are considered bioindicators for assessing soil health. An experiment was designed to investigate invertase and ß-glucosidase activity in multi-metal deposits. Radioactivity and heavy metals were also investigated during this study. Our results showed that the invertase and ß-glucosidase activities were significantly lower in the core mining area than the control area (p<0.05). Activities of the two enzymes decreased with increasing metal concentrations and radioactivity. Cu and Zn showed significant negative effects on ß-glucosidase and invertase activities in a multi-metal deposit at the study site. A significant nonlinear relationship was recorded between soil enzyme activities, radiation dose (R2 = 0.71, 0.63; p<0.05), Zn (R2 = 0.34, 0.41; p<0.05) and Cu concentrations (R2 = 0.46, 0.45; p<0.05). There were turning points at 1 μGy h-1, 250 μg g-1, and 30 μg g-1 for radiation dose, Zn and Cu contents, respectively. The findings could provide more information regarding the toxic effects of radiation and heavy metals on the soil health of multi-metal deposits, which can more precisely guide environmental protection.