Effect of biochar on alleviation of cadmium toxicity in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) grown on Cd-contaminated saline soil

Tahir Abbas, Muhammad Rizwan, Shafaqat Ali, Muhammad Adrees, Muhammad Zia-ur-Rehman, Muhammad Farooq Qayyum, Yong Sik Ok, Ghulam Murtaza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

123 Citations (Scopus)


Soil degradation by salinity and accumulation of trace elements such as cadmium (Cd) in the soils are expected to become one of the most critical issues hindering sustainable production and feeding the increasing population. Biochar (BC) has been known to protect the plants against soil salinity and heavy metal stress. A soil culture study was performed to evaluate the effect of BC on wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) growth, biomass, and reducing Cd and sodium (Na) uptake grown in Cd-contaminated saline soil under ambient conditions. Soil salinity decreased the plant growth, biomass, grain yield, chlorophyll contents, and gas exchange parameters and caused oxidative stress in plants compared with Cd stress alone. Salt stress increased Cd and Na uptake and reduced the potassium (K) and zinc (Zn) uptake by plants. AB-DTPA-extractable Cd and soil electrical conductivity (ECe) increased under salt stress compared to the soil without NaCl stress. Biochar application improved the plant growth and reduced the Cd and Na uptake except in plants treated with higher BC and salt stress (5.0% BC + 50 mM NaCl). Biochar application reduced the oxidative stress in plants and modified the antioxidant enzyme activities, and reduced the bioavailable Cd under salt stress. The positive effects of BC under lower salt stress while the negative effects of BC under higher BC and salt levels indicated that BC doses should be used with great care in higher soil salinity levels simultaneously contaminated with Cd to avoid the negative effects of BC on growth and metal uptake.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25668-25680
Number of pages13
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Sept 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Bioavailability
  • Grain yield
  • Heavy metals
  • Photosynthesis
  • Rice straw biochar
  • Salt stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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