The suitability of two different techniques (centrifugation and Rhizon sampler) for obtaining the interstitial pore water of soil (soil solution), integral to the ecotoxicity assessment of metal contaminated soil, were investigated by combining chemical analyses and a luminescence-based microbial biosensor. Two different techniques, centrifugation and Rhizon sampler, were used to extract the soil solution from Insch (a loamy sand) and Boyndie (a sandy loam) soils, which had been amended with different concentrations of Zn and Cd. The concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), major anions (F-, C-, NO3-, SO42-) and major cations (K+, Mg2+, Ca2+) in the soil solutions varied depending on the extraction technique used. Overall, the concentrations of Zn and Cd were significantly higher in the soil solution extracted using the centrifugation technique compared with that extracted using the Rhizon sampler technique. Furthermore, the differences observed between the two extraction techniques depended on the type of soil from which the solution was being extracted. The luminescence-based biosensor Escherichia coli HB101 pUCD607 was shown to respond to the free metal concentrations in the soil solutions and showed that different toxicities were associated with each soil, depending on the technique used to extract the soil solution. This study highlights the need to characterise the type of extraction technique used to obtain the soil solution for ecotoxicity testing in order that a representative ecotoxicity assessment can be carried out.
- CHEMICAL SPECIATION
- IMMISCIBLE DISPLACEMENT