Density-dependent Accumulation of Heavy Metals in Spring Wheat (Triticum Aestivum) and the Risk Assessment from Weak Alkaline Soils, Northwest of China

Xingwang Ma, Saiyong Zhu;Shiwei Ai;Bailin Liu;Wenya Zhang;Yingmei Zhang;


In order to investigate the effects of planting density on accumulation of heavy metals in spring wheat, a weak alkaline agricultural district mainly contaminated by heavy metals Cu, Zn, Pb and Cd, was chosen in 2014. Five planting densities (114×104, 174×104, 249×104, 369×104 and 519×104 plants hectare-1, respectively) were designed and the level of heavy metals in soil and in various parts (root, stem, leaf, husk and grain) of spring wheat were detected, and then the health risk to human health was assessed via hazard quotient. The results indicate that concentrations of Pb and Cd in each part of spring wheat plant are negatively correlated with planting density, similar but weaker trends are observed for those of Cu and Zn. The hazard quotient of heavy metals through food chain is markedly reduced with increasing planting density, especially for Pb and Cd at higher planting densities (369×104 and 519×104 plants hectare-1). Conclusively, the present study shows that suitable planting density could be a feasible cultivation method for ensuring the safety of wheat products and human health on slightly polluted alkaline soils.


Planting Density, Heavy Metals, Spring Wheat, Health Risk, Weak Alkaline Soil

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