Exchangeable lead from prediction models relates to vetiver lead uptake in different soil types

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Department of Biological Sciences


Prediction models for exchangeable soil lead, published earlier in this journal (Andra et al. 2010a), were developed using a suite of native lead (Pb) paint-contaminated residential soils from two US cities heavily populated with homes constructed prior to Pb ban in paints. In this study, we tested the feasibility and practical applications of these prediction models for developing a phytoremediation design using vetiver grass (Vetiveria zizanioides), a Pb-tolerant plant. The models were used to estimate the exchangeable fraction of Pb available for vetiver uptake in four lead-spiked soil types, both acidic and alkaline, with varying physico-chemical properties and that are different from those used to build the prediction models. Results indicate a strong correlation for predictable exchangeable Pb with the observed fraction and as well with total Pb accumulated by vetiver grass grown in these soils. The correlation coefficient for the predicted vs. observed exchangeable Pb with p < 0.001 was 0.999, 0.996, 0.949, and 0.998 in the Immokalee, Millhopper, Pahokee Muck, and Tobosa soil type, respectively. Similarly, the correlation coefficient for the predicted exchangeable Pb vs. accumulated Pb in vetiver grass with p< 0.001 was 0.948, 0.983, 0.929, and 0.969 for each soil type, respectively. This study suggests that the success of a phytoremediation design could be assessed upfront by predicting the exchangeable Pb fraction in a given soil type based on its properties. This helps in modifying the soil conditions to enhance phytoextraction of Pb from contaminated soils.

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© 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-011-1941-x

Publication Title

Environmental Monitoring and Assessment