20 June 2024
Red soil mineral locks away trace metals

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Red soil mineral metals are nutrient elements, like zinc, that animals and plants need in small amounts to function properly. Animals generally get trace metals in their diets or through environmental exposures, while plants take their trace minerals up from soil. If we get too little, we may experience a deficiency, but the opposite can also be true: Too much of a trace metal can be toxic.



What are trace metals and why are they important?

Trace metals are essential nutrient elements, such as zinc, that are crucial for the proper functioning of animals and plants. They are obtained through diets or environmental exposures, and an imbalance can lead to either deficiency or toxicity.

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How do trace metals interact with minerals in red soils?

In red soils, trace metals tend to incorporate into the structure of goethite, a common iron-rich mineral. This effectively locks them away and makes them unavailable for circulation.

How does ion size affect trace metal binding?

The size of trace metal ions influences their binding to goethite. Smaller ions, like nickel, are more likely to be irreversibly bound, while larger ions, like cadmium, show lower levels of irreversible binding.

What are the implications of trace metal trapping by goethite?

The ability of goethite to trap trace metals can be beneficial for cleaning up soils and water supplies, but it also means that essential trace metal nutrients may become less available to plants and organisms over time.

How can understanding trace metal binding in red soils help with soil management?

By understanding the mechanisms of trace metal binding, scientists can better predict the environmental impact of contaminants and nutrient availability in agricultural settings, contributing to more effective soil management strategies.

Links to additional Resources:

1. www.sciencedaily.com 2. www.nature.com 3. www.acs.org

Related Wikipedia Articles

Topics: trace metals, red soils, goethite

Trace metal
Trace metals are the metals subset of trace elements; that is, metals normally present in small but measurable amounts in animal and plant cells and tissues. Some of these trace metals are a necessary part of nutrition and physiology. Some biometals are trace metals. Ingestion of, or exposure to, excessive...
Read more: Trace metal

Red soil
Red soil is a type of soil that typically develops in warm, temperate, and humid climates and comprise approximately 13% of Earth's soils. It contains thin organic and organic-mineral layers of highly leached soil resting on a red layer of alluvium. Red soils contain large amounts of clay and are...
Read more: Red soil

Goethite (, US also ) is a mineral of the diaspore group, consisting of iron(III) oxide-hydroxide, specifically the α-polymorph. It is found in soil and other low-temperature environments such as sediment. Goethite has been well known since ancient times for its use as a pigment (brown ochre). Evidence has been...
Read more: Goethite

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