Copper bioavailability and fractionation in Copper-contaminated sandy soils in the wet subtropics (southern Brazil)

Mirlean, Nicolai; Baisch, Paulo Roberto Martins; Medeanic, Svetlana


We studied the distribution, bioavailability and speciation of copper in subtropical sandy soils exposed to long-term applications of copper-based fungicide. In the surface horizon of the contaminated soils, bioavailable copper surpasses the toxic threshold for plants up to several times. Mobile fractions of copper predominate in top layers, contributing to contamination spreading downward to groundwater. Copper accumulates on the underlying iron hydroxide barrier in quantities comparable to total copper concentrations in the surface horizon. Despite the impediment of the geochemical barrier, most applied copper reaches the aquifer, contaminating the groundwater.

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