Document Type



Eric Vukicevich

Publication Date



Urban farming is becoming more common in the United States, although gardeners and urban growers remain poorly aware of the risks associated with heavy metal contamination and the best practices to manage them. Lead (Pb) contamination has increased with anthropogenic activities and can present important health risks in urban agriculture contexts, through contact with soil particles and crop Pb uptake. Phosphorus (P) amendments, as well as arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) can both participate to remediate Pb in contaminated soils. This study at a highly Pb-contaminated urban site tested how amendments with P in the form of bonemeal and the use of Pro-Mix potting soil containing the commercial AMF strain Rhizoglomus irregulare DAOM 197198 affect Pb accumulation in lettuce. Our results highlight that separately, these treatments can reduce Pb in lettuce leaves and provide Pb protection. However, using a combination of both treatments creates an interaction that raises Pb leaf concentration and creates concerns for crop safety. The study also highlighted soil organic matter and pH as important predictors of Pb phytoavailability. This work therefore provides evidence and insight on best management practices in elevated Pb soils for urban growers.



The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.