Growth characteristics and response of wheat to cadmium, nickel and magnesium sorption affected by zeolite in soil polluted with armaments

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Agronomy, Khuzestan Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ahvaz, Iran

2 Department of Agronomy, Ahvaz branch, Islamic Azad University, Ahvaz, Iran

3 Department of Soil science, Ahvaz branch, Islamic Azad University, Ahvaz, Iran


The presence of large heavy metal concentrations in soil polluted with chemical weapons causes serious operational restrictions against cultivation of agricultural crops like wheat. To solve this problem, the usage of zeolite has been proposed as one of the most efficient practical approaches. The main objective of this research is the investigation of the influence of natural Iranian zeolite on sorption of cadmium (Cd2+) and nickel (Ni2+) and the investigation of growth characteristics of wheat in soil polluted with chemical weapons. The experiments were carried out in factorial arrangement in a randomized complete design with three replications during 2015-2016 crop season. Treatments with four levels of zeolite included: a1) 0%; a2) 0.5%; a3) 1.5%; and a4) 2.5% of soil weight and two soil samples, one obtained from out of the war zone (without contamination) (b1) and other was from contaminated soil to weapons (b2). Results showed that the polluted soil led to a significant enhancement in amount of Cd2+ and Ni2+ in shoots and roots of wheat. In addition, the findings revealed that the application of zeolite caused a significant reduction in Cd2+ and Ni2+ concentrations in shoots and roots and significantly increased dry matter, chlorophyll index and magnesium (Mg2+) concentration in wheat. In general, results showed that zeolite released nutrients and stabilized heavy metals in polluted soil and the negative effect of soil polluted by toxic heavy metals was reduced in the plant, which lead to decontamination of soil and increase in safety of environment.


  1. Babaei AA, Alaee Z, Ahmadpour E, Ramazanpour-Esfahani A. Kinetic modeling of methylene blue adsorption onto acid-activated spent tea: A Comparison between linear and non-linear regression analysis. J Adv Environ Health Res. 2014; 2(4): 197-208.
  2. Farouk S, Mosa AA, Taha AA, Ibrahim HM, El-Gahmery AM. Protective effect of humic acid and chitosan on radish (Raphanus sativus, L. var. sativus) plants subjected to cadmium stress. Journal of Stress Physiology & Biochemistry. 2011; 7(2):100-116.
  3. Levy BS, Sidel VW, editors. War and public health. Oxford University Press; 2007.
  4. Karsh E. The Iran-Iraq War, 1980-1988. Osprey publishing; 2002.
  5. Kazemian H. An  introduction to zeolites: The magic  minerals, Behesht Publication,Tehran, Iran. 2004; 130 p. (In Persian)
  6. Davidson J. Removal of nickel (II) from aqueous solutions by polymer-enhanced ultrafiltration [Doctoral dissertation] Shanghai Jiao Tong University), 2010.
  7. Polat E, Karaca M, Demir H, Onus AN. Use of natural zeolite (clinoptilolite) in agriculture. Journal of fruit and ornamental plant research. 2004; 12(1):183-9.
  8. Ming DW, Mumpton FA. Zeolites in soils.In: Minerals in soil environments.2nd ed. J.B. Dixon and S.B. Weed, (eds) soil science society of America, Madison, Wisconsin,  1989; 873-911.
  9. Mahabadi AA, Hajabbasi MA, Khademi H, Kazemian H. Soil cadmium stabilization using an Iranian natural zeolite. Geoderma. 2007; 137(3):388-93.
  10. Shi WY, Shao HB, Li H, Shao MA, Du S. Progress in the remediation of hazardous heavy metal-polluted soils by natural zeolite. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 2009; 170(1):1-6.
  11. Ulmer MG, Swenson LJ, Patterson DD, Dahnke WC. Organic carbon determination by the Walkley Black, Udy dye, and dry combustion methods for selected North Dakota soils. Communications in Soil Science & Plant Analysis. 1992; 23(3-4):417-29.
  12. Kassim JK. Method for estimation of calcium carbonate in soils from Iraq. International Journal of Environment. 2013; 1(1):9-19.
  13. Oliva J, De Pablo J, Cortina JL, Cama J, Ayora C. Removal of cadmium, copper, nickel, cobalt and mercury from water by Apatite II™: Column experiments. Journal of hazardous materials. 2011; 194:312-23.
  14. Mahmoodabadi MR, Abdi F, Adhami E, Hadarbadi GH. Effects of zeolite application Cadmium toxicity, growth, nodulation and chemical composition of soybean. Proceeding of the 1st soil, environment and sustainable agriculture congress; 2004 Apr 20-22; Tehran, Iran.
  15. 15. Khodaverdiloo H, Hamzenejad Taghlidabad R. Sorption and desorption of lead (Pb) and effect of cyclic wetting-drying on metal distribution in two soils with different properties. Water Soil Sci. 2011; 21(1):149-163.
  16. Simon L. Effects of natural zeolite and bentonite on the phytoavailability of heavy metals in chicory. In: Environmental Restoration of Metals-Contaminated Soil. CRC Press, 2000: 261-271.
  17. Fathi M, Chorom M, Enayatizamir, N. The effect of sewage sludge on morphological features of corn and heavy metals accumulation. Proceeding of the 1st national agricultural pollutants and food health congress, Ramin agriculture and natural resources university; 2013 March 17-19; Ahvaz, Iran. (In Persian)
  18. Saadat K, Bahrani Motlagh M. Influence of Iranian natural zeolites, clinoptilolite on uptake of lead and cadmium in applied sewage sludge by Maize (Zea mays. L.). Journal of water and soil conservation 2013; 20(4) 123-143. (In Persian)
  19. Kumpiene J, Lagerkvist A, Maurice C. Stabilization of As, Cr, Cu, Pb and Zn in soil using amendments–a review. Waste management. 2008; 28(1):215-25.
  20. Abrol IP, Bronson KF, Duxbury JM, Gupta RK. Long-term soil fertility experiments in rice–wheat cropping systems. Rice-Wheat Consortium Res. Ser. No. 6, Rice-Wheat Consortium for the Indo-Gangetic Plains, New Delhi, India,  2000, 171p.
  21.  Ball BC. Pore characteristics of soils from two cultivation experiments as shown by gas diffusivities and permeabilities and air-filled porosities. Journal of Soil Science. 1981; 32(4):483-98.
  22. Khanmohammdi M, Abdi F, Haji HR, Rafieian M. Comparison of polyunsaturated fatty acids in depressed patients attempted suicide with healthy controls. J Babol Uni Med Sci .2010; 12(3): 43-49. (In Persian)
  23. Eshghi S, Mahmoodabadi MR, Abdi GR, Jamali B. Zeolite ameliorates the adverse effect of cadmium contamination on growth and nodulation of soybean plant (Glycine max L.). J. Biol. Environ. Sci. 2010; 4(10):43-50.
  24. Chorom, M., Ghanbarizade, L. Chemical characterization of the soils around the city of Khoramshahr. M.Sc. thesis. Faculty of Agriculture, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz. 2001 (In Persian)