Inorganic Contaminants in Soil Ecosystems

  • J. Makovníková Soil Science and Conservation Research Institute, Banská Bystrica,
  • G. Barančíková Soil Science and Conservation Research Institute, Prešov,
  • P. Dlapa Department of Pedology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Comenius University, Bratislava,
  • K. Dercová Department of Biochemical Technology, Faculty of Chemical and Food Technology, Slovak Technical University, Bratislava, Slovak Republic


Soil pollution is the cause of severe soil degradation in many parts of the world. The major inorganic pollutants are heavy metals. Heavy metal contaminants in soil decrease the soil quality, affect detrimentally the quality of the biomass produced and impair aquatic environment. The soil processes controlling the fate and distribution of heavy metals in the terrestrial environment include several physical, chemical, and biological processes. pH and the organic matter content in soil show a major influence on the solubility and bioavailability of heavy metals. Microorganisms play important roles in the environmental fate of toxic metals in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems by affecting changes in their solubility and mobility. Biosorption and bioaccumulation by biomass, and the use of biopolymers are the most promising technologies for removing toxic metals and remediation of contaminated soils.