Influence of soil on the uptake of perfluoroalkyl acids by lettuce: A comparison between a hydroponic study and a field study
By Sebastian Felizeter, Heinrich Jürling, Matthias Kotthoff, Pim De Voogt, and Michael S McLachlan
July 22, 2020
This study explores whether mechanistic understanding of plant uptake of perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) derived from hydroponic experiments can be applied to soil systems. Lettuces (Lactuca sativa) were grown in outdoor lysimeters in soil spiked with 4 different concentrations of 13 PFAAs. PFAA concentrations were measured in soil, soil pore water, lettuce roots, and foliage. The PFAA uptake by the lettuce was compared with uptake measured in a hydroponic study. The foliage:pore water concentration ratios in the lysimeter were similar to the foliage:water concentration ratios from the hydroponic experiment. In contrast, the root:pore water concentration ratios in the lysimeter were 1-2 orders of magnitude lower than in the hydroponic study for PFAAs with 6 or more perfluorinated carbons. Hence, hydroponic studies can be expected to provide a good quantitative measure of PFAA transfer from soil to foliage if one accounts for soil:pore water partitioning and differences in transpiration rate. However, hydroponic studies will be of little value for estimating PFAA transfer from soil to roots because sorption to the root surface is greatly enhanced under hydroponic conditions.