a prerequisite for physical mobility and bioavailability. Bioaccumulation can result from trace element transport in the rhizosphere and absorption onto soil organisms or passage through plants' plasmalemma at the root: soil interface. These processes can be augmented or retarded through soil amendments or modification of the soil's vegetation. The goal of such engineering approaches may be to diminish trace element mobility so that it poses minimum risk to the surrounding environment, or to promote solubility so that trace elements are taken up by plants or leached out of the rhizosphere.
Enhancing trace element solubility may be a tool for the remediation of contaminated soils through the use of plants to remove the trace element, phytoremediation, or by leaching contaminants out of the root zone. Alternatively, plant and animal productivity may be improved by increasing the trace element solubility in a soil that is deficient in one or more essential elements.
This chapter discusses the physicochemical processes that affect the fate of trace elements in the rhizosphere with a view to the remediation of contaminated soils.
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