Cd Induced Biphasic Response in Soil Alkaline Phosphatase and Changed Soil Bacterial Community Composition: The Role of Background Cd Contamination and Time as Additional Factors

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Science of the Total Environment

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© 2020 Elsevier B.V. Hormesis is an intriguing phenomenon characterized by low-dose stimulation and high-dose inhibition. The hormetic phenomena have been frequently reported in the past decades, but the researches on the biphasic responses of soil enzymes are still limited. The main objective of this study is to explore dose response of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) to Cd (0, 0.003, 0.03, 0.3, 3.0 and 30 mg/kg) in the presence of different levels of background Cd contamination (bulk soil with no added Cd, BS; low background Cd, LB; medium background Cd, MB; and high background Cd, HB). ALP activity at 0.003–0.3 mg Cd/kg was 13–39% higher than that of the control (0 mg Cd/kg) for HB after 7 d. Similarly, the enzyme activities at 0.003–0.03 mg Cd/kg were 2–25% and 14–17% higher than those of the controls for MB and HB after 60 d. After 90 d, ALP activities at 0.3–3.0 mg Cd/kg increased by 11–17% for LB. The dose-response curves had the shape of an inverted U, showing biphasic responses at days 7 (HB), 60 (MB and HB) and 90 (LB). After 60 days of exposure, total operational taxonomic units (OTU) numbers and unique species exposed to Cd stress displayed hormetic-response curve for MB. The relative abundances of Agrobacterium, Salinimicrobiums, Bacilllus, and Oceanobacillus displayed significantly positive correlations with ALP activity. This suggested that bacterial communities potentially contribute to ALP's hormesis. This study further provides new insights into the ecological mechanisms of pollutant-induced hormesis, and substantially contributes to the ecological risk assessment of Cd pollution.


Background contamination; Cadmium; Dose-response relationship; Hormesis; Soil alkaline phosphatase; Soil bacterial community


Environmental Sciences



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