Investigation of organic xenobiotic transfers, partitioning and processing in air-soil-plant systems using a microcosm apparatus. Part II. Comparing the fate of chlorobenzenes in grass planted soil.

Andrew Alexander Meharg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


A microcosm system was used to investigate and compare transfers of C-14 labeled-1,2-dichlorobenzene (DCB), 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene (TCB) and hexachlorobenzene (HCB) in an air-soil-plant system using single grass tillers planted into spiked soil. This study was the second phase of a development investigation for eventual study of a range of xenobiotic pollutants. Recoveries from the system were excellent at >90%. The predominant loss pathway for C-14 labeled-1,2-DCB and 1,2,4-TCB was volatilisation with 85% and 76% volatilisation of parent compound and volatile metabolites over 5 weeks respectively. Most of the added label in the hexachlorobenzene spiked system remained in soil. Mineralisation was <1% for all compounds. C-14 plant burdens expressed as mug parent compound/g plant fresh weight were significant and suggest that plant uptake of chlorobenzenes from soil may be an important exposure pathway for grazing herbivores. Both shoot and root uptake of C-14 was detected, with foliar uptake of volatilised compounds dominating shoot uptake, and being greatest in TCB spiked systems. The microcosm is shown as potentially an ideal system with which to investigate organic xenobiotic partitioning in air-soil-plant systems to improve understanding of the equilibria and kinetics of exchanges. However, limitations imposed by the lab based conditions must be recognized and data should be compared with field based data sets as a consequence. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)583-591
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • chlorobenzenes
  • microcosm
  • grass tillers
  • compound distribution
  • plant burdens

Cite this