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Cadmium uptake by cocoa trees in agroforestry and monoculture systems under conventional and organic management

Gramlich, A.; Tandy, S.; Andres, C.; Chincheros Paniagua, J.; Armengot, L.; Schneider, M. and Schulin, R. (2016) Cadmium uptake by cocoa trees in agroforestry and monoculture systems under conventional and organic management. Science of The Total Environment, 580, pp. 677-686.

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Document available online at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969716326985


Cadmium(Cd) uptake by cocoa has recently attracted attention, after the European Union (EU) decided to establish values for tolerable Cd concentrations in cocoa products. Bean Cd concentrations from some cocoa provenances, especially from Latin America, were found to exceed these values. Cadmium uptake by cocoa is expected not only to depend on a variety of soil factors, but also on plant and management factors. In this study, we investigated the influence of different production systems on Cd uptake by cocoa in a long-term field trial in the Alto Beni Region of Bolivia,where cocoa trees are grown inmonocultures and in agroforestry systems, both under organic and conventional management. Leaf, fruits and roots of two cultivars were sampled fromeach production system alongwith soil samples collected around these trees. Leaf, pod husk and bean samples were analysed for Cd, iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn), the roots for mycorrhizal abundance and the soil samples for ‘total’ and ‘available’ Cd, Fe and Zn as well as DGT available Cd and Zn, pH, organic matter, texture, ‘available’ phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). Only a small part of the variance in bean and pod husk Cd was explained by management, soil and plant factors. Furthermore, the production systems and cultivars alone had no significant influence on leaf Cd. However, we found lower Cd leaf contents in agroforestry systems than in monocultures when analysed in combination with DGT-available soil Cd, cocoa cultivar and soil organic matter. Overall, this model explained 60% of the variance of the leaf Cd concentrations. We explain lower leaf Cd concentrations in agroforestry systems by competition for Cd uptake with other plants. The cultivar effect may be explained by cultivar specific uptake capacities or by a growth effect translating into different uptake rates, as the cultivars were of different size.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Cadmium (Cd), Cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.), Availability, Diffusive gradients in thin-films (DGT), Soil, Kakao, Department of International Cooperation, Agroforestry systems
Subjects: Environmental aspects > Biodiversity and ecosystem services
Crop husbandry > Crop health, quality, protection
"Organics" in general > Countries and regions > Bolivia
Research affiliation:Bolivia
Switzerland > ETHZ - Agrarwissenschaften
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Crops > Special crops > Cocoa
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > International > Agroforestry Systems
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Sustainability
Related Links:http://www.fibl.org/en/switzerland/development/working-themes/agroforestry-systems.html
Deposited By: Andres, Christian
ID Code:32089
Deposited On:05 Sep 2017 10:05
Last Modified:17 Nov 2020 07:35
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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