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Effects Of Biochar Addition On Toxic Element Concentrations In Plants: A Meta-analysis.

Xianghe Peng, Ying Er Deng, Yan Lei Peng, Kai Yue
Published 2018 · Medicine, Chemistry
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Consuming food contaminated by toxic elements (TEs) could pose a substantial risk to human health. Recently, biochar has been extensively studied as an effective soil ameliorant in situ because of its ability to suppress the phytoavailability of TEs. However, despite the research interest, the effects of biochar applications to soil on different TE concentrations in different plant parts remain unclear. Here, we synthesize 1813 individual observations data collected from 97 articles to evaluate the effects of biochar addition on TE concentrations in plant parts. We found that (1) the experiment type, biochar feedstock and pyrolysis temperature all significantly decreased the TE concentration in plant parts; (2) the responses of Cd and Pb concentrations in edible and indirectly edible plant parts were significantly more sensitive to the effect of biochar than the Zn, Ni, Mn, Cr, Co and Cu concentrations; and (3) the biochar dosage and surface area, significantly influenced certain TE concentrations in plant tissues as determined via correlation analysis. Moreover, the only exception in this study was found for metalloid element (i.e., As) concentrations in plants, which were not significantly influenced by biochar addition. Overall, the effects of biochar on TE concentrations in plant tissues were negative, at least on average, and the central trends suggest that biochar has a considerable ability to mitigate the transfer of TEs to food, thereby reducing the associated health risks. Our results provide an initial quantitative determination of the effects of biochar addition on multifarious TEs in different plant parts as well as an assessment of the ability of biochar to reduce TE concentrations in plants.
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