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Research articles

ScienceAsia 48 (2022): 326-334 |doi: 10.2306/scienceasia1513-1874.2022.045

Potential of biofertilizers and natural soil amendments to mitigate heavy metal contents of soil in lowland rice (Oryza sativa L.) farming

Neelamanie Yapaa,*, Wen Dub, Asanka Madhushanc, Kai Yanb, Suhail Asadd, Samantha C. Karunarathnae, Chathuranga Bamunuarachchigef

ABSTRACT:     Chemical fertilizers have been extensively used in Sri Lanka, and they have contributed to the pollution of groundwater and soil. Therefore, a field experiment was conducted to reduce the potential risk of toxic metal contamination of rice farming through sustainable nutrient management, with the scope of replacing the conventional chemical fertilizers. The field experiment comprised the addition of organic amendments, consortium of biofertilizers, and chemical fertilizers. Two improved rice varieties and three traditional rice varieties were grown. The plant-available and total Cd, As, Pb, and Hg in soil, rice roots, and grains in each system were analyzed. The results revealed that organic soil management is an effective soil remediation technique for rice soil to neutralize the toxic heavy metals (e.g. Pb, Hg, Cd) and metalloids (As) and lead to a harvest with minimum heavy metal contamination (p < 0.05). Natural soil amendments such as compost, biochar, and biofertilizers, which reduce the heavy metal concentrations of soil and rice grains, could be recommended for soil application, instead of chemical fertilizers, for both the traditional and the improved rice varieties.

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a Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, Mihintale 50300 Sri Lanka
b College of Resources and Environment, Yunnan Agricultural University, Kunming 650201 China
c Department of Plant Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, Anuradhapura 50000 Sri Lanka
d State Key Laboratory for Conservation and Utilization of Bio-Resources in Yunnan, Yunnan Agricultural University, Kunming 650201 China
e Center for Yunnan Plateau Biological Resources Protection and Utilization, College of Biological Resource and Food Engineering, Qujing Normal University, Qujing, Yunnan 655011 China
f Department of Bioprocess Technology, Faculty of Technology, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, Mihintale 50300 Sri Lanka

* Corresponding author, E-mail: neelamanie@as.rjt.ac.lk

Received 20 Apr 2021, Accepted 16 Oct 2021