Research output

Influence of calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium and pH on copper toxicity to barley (Hordeum vulgare)

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-article


  • Koen Lock
  • P Criel
  • K. A. C De Schamphelaere
  • Hilde Van Eeckhout
  • C. R Janssen


Original languageEnglish
JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)299-304
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2007


The extent to which Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+, K+ ions and pH independently influence copper toxicity to barley (Hordeum vulgare) was assessed by measuring root growth in nutrient solutions. Increased Ca2+ activity resulted in a sixfold decrease in EC50Cu2+ values, while a positive relationship between the cation activity and the EC50 was expected. Increased Mg2+ activity resulted in a twofold increase in EC50Cu2+ values. Na+, K+ and H+ activities did not significantly affect Cu2+ toxicity. The obtained results indicated that competition for binding sites between Cu2+ and cations such as Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+, K+ and H+ is not an important factor in determining Cu2+ toxicity to H. vulgare. However, the EC50s could, with one exception, be predicted within a factor three based on the free Cu2+ activity, indicating that the free Cu2+ activity cannot only be used to predict metal toxicity to aquatic, but also to terrestrial organisms.
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  • Lock_etal_2007_EcotoxEnvironSafe

    Accepted author manuscript, 176 KB, PDF document


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