Growth and chemical changes in the rhizosphere of black oat (Avena strigosa) grown in soils contaminated with copper
De Conti L
da Silva LOS
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Copper based pesticides are used to protect vineyards from fungal infections. Plants like black oats (Avena strigosa Schreb) can promote chemical changes in the rhizosphere, reducing copper (Cu) bioavailability in contaminated soils. The objective of this study was to evaluate how copper additions would affect growth, morphology and nutrient uptake by black oats and how the plants affect the chemical composition in rhizosphere and bulk soil. The soil was collected in grassland of southern Brazil. The soil was air-dried, adjusted pH and added phosphorus and potassium amendments, and then it was incubated. Three Cu levels were established in the soil with the addition of 0, 40 and 80 mg Cu kg−1. The experimental design consisted of pots containing 8 plants with 10 kg of soil. Rhizosphere (2 kg of soil) and bulk (8 kg of soil) separated by a 30 µm nylon membrane. Black oat plants were grown for 54 days. The soil and solution were chemically characterized throughout cultivation for Cu speciation. At 54 days after emergence, the soil was sampled and proceeded chemical analysis and plants were collected to determine yield dry matter, morphological parameters and nutrient concentration. Black oat plants induce increase of pH and dissolved organic carbon in the rhizosphere. These root-induced processes increase the percentage of complexed chemical species and decrease free Cu+2 in soil solution, decreasing Cu toxicity. However, soil contamination with Cu induces morphological changes and nutritional imbalances. Black oats could thus be planted along with vineyards, for such increasing protect the soil and promote nutrient cycling, as well as reduce the free Cu available fraction due to the root-induced modifications in the rhizosphere. © 2018 Elsevier Inc.