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Research Article

Heavy Metal Uptake by Herbs. IV. Influence of Soil pH on the Content of Heavy Metals in Valeriana officinalis L.


The aim of the study was to estimate the influence of soil pH on the uptake of copper, zinc, and manganese by Valeriana officinalis. Preliminary studies involved soil analyses to determine acidity, organic matter content, and copper, zinc, and manganese total and bioavailable forms. The study involved atomic absorption spectrometry to determine the concentration of the elements, and mineral soil of pH = 5.1 was used in the study, as being typical for central Poland. The copper, zinc, and manganese contents were determined in plants grown in soils which had been modified to cover a wide range of pH values 3÷13. The intensity of germination was strongly pH dependent with the highest yield obtained in original, unmodified soil. Surprisingly, high soil alkalinity stimulated copper and manganese uptake while at the same time resulting in a decrease in zinc content.