The behavior of nickel isotopes at the biogeochemical interface between ultramafic soils and Ni accumulator species

Type Article
Date 2019-01
Language English
Author(s) Ratie G.1, 2, 3, 4, Quantin C.1, Maia De Freitas A.2, 3, Echevarria G.5, Ponzevera Emmanuel6, Garnier J.2, 3
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Paris Saclay, CNRS, Univ Paris Sud, UMR GEOPS 8148, F-91405 Orsay, France.
2 : Univ Brasilia, IG GMP ICC Ctr, Campus Univ Darcy Ribeiro, BR-70910970 Brasilia, DF, Brazil.
3 : Univ Brasilia, Inst Rech Dev, LMI OCE, Campus Darcy Ribeiro, Brasilia, DF, Brazil.
4 : Synchrotron Soleil, BP 48, F-91192 Gif Sur Yvette, France.
5 : Univ Lorraine INRA, Lab Sols & Environm, UMR 1120, Vandoeuvre Les Nancy, France.
6 : IFREMER, Ctr Brest, Unite Geosci Marines, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
Source Journal Of Geochemical Exploration (0375-6742) (Elsevier Science Bv), 2019-01 , Vol. 196 , P. 182-191
DOI 10.1016/j.gexplo.2018.10.008
WOS© Times Cited 16
Keyword(s) Nickel, Isotope, Ni hyperaccumulator species, Ultramafic environment

Ultramafic derived soils are characterized by low nutrient soils, a low Ca:Mg ratio, and high metal contents such as Ni, Co and Cr. The vegetation growing on these soils is highly adapted and includes both Ni hyperaccumulator and accumulator species. Today, approximately 530 Ni hyperaccumulator species are listed worldwide and the Ni concentration can be extremely high, e.g. up to 25% in latex from Pycnandra acuminata (Sapotaceae), a tree found in New Caledonia. The aim of this study is to identify the potential role of Ni hyperaccumulator plants in the Ni biogeochemical cycle at the soil surface by using Ni isotopes. A set of Ni hyperaccumulator and Ni accumulator plants as well as topsoils were sampled on the Barro Alto and Niquelândia ultramafic complexes (Goiás State, Brazil). Three Ni hyperaccumulator plants were collected: Justicia lanstyakii, Heliotropium aff. salicoides, Cnidoscolus aff. urens, as well as one Ni accumulator plant, Manihot sp. The isotopic compositions of the whole plants were determined and compared to those of the bulk topsoils and DTPA-extractable Ni. The topsoils exhibited δ60Ni values ranging from −0.30 ± 0.06‰ to 0.16 ± 0.05‰. The DTPA-extractable Ni in the topsoils ranged from 94 to 623 mg kg−1, i.e. 0.9–4.9% of the total soil Ni and was found to be isotopically heavier than the corresponding topsoil (from −0.30 ± 0.05‰ to 0.34 ± 0.08‰). The δ60Ni values for the Ni accumulator plants showed an enrichment in heavy Ni isotopes in the aerial parts of the plant compared to the roots, whereas similar δ60Ni values for the roots, stems and aerial parts suggested that no significant fractionation results from Ni uptake and translocation in Ni hyperaccumulator plants. Moreover, the aerial parts (i.e. leaves and flowers) from all of the plants analyzed showed the highest Ni concentrations and the heaviest δ60Ni values up to 1.21 ± 0.05‰. The enrichment in heavy Ni isotopes in the leaves (0.09 ± 0.06‰ < Δ60Nileaves-soil < 1.06 ± 0.03‰) may result in a heavy Ni input in the litter during organic matter restitution. There is a non-negligible amount of Ni uptake by Ni accumulator and Ni hyperaccumulator plants and this may modify both the Ni isotope composition at the soil-plant interface and the overall cycle of Ni in surface soils.

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