Microbial redox transformations of arsenic (As) are coupled to dissimilatory iron and sulfate reduction in the wetlands, however, the processes involved are complex and poorly defined. In this study, we investigated the effect of dissimilatory iron and sulfate reduction on As dynamics in the wetland rhizosphere and its bioaccumulation in plants using greenhouse mesocosms. Results show that high Fe (50 μM ferrihydrite/g solid medium) and SO4 2− (5 mM) treatments are most favorable for As sequestration in the presence of wetland plants (Scirpus actus), probably because root exudates facilitate the microbial reduction of Fe(III), SO4 2−, and As(V) to sequester As(III) by incorporation into iron sulfides and/or plant uptake. As retention in the solid medium and accumulation in plants were mainly controlled by SO4 2− rather than Fe levels. Compared to the low SO4 2− (0.1 mM) treatment, high SO4 2− resulted in 2 times more As sequestered in the solid medium, 30 times more As in roots, and 49% less As in leaves. An As speciation analysis in pore water indicated that 19% more dissolved As was reduced under high SO4 2− than low SO4 2− levels, which is consistent with the fact that more dissimilatory arsenate-respiring bacteria were found under high SO4 2− levels.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Waste Management and Disposal
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
- Dissimilatory sulfate reduction