Influence of simulated acid rain on the physiological response of flowering Chinese cabbage and variation of soil nutrients

Ma S., Chen W.K., Zhang J.E., Shen H. (2020): Influence of simulated acid rain on the physiological response of flowering Chinese cabbage and variation of soil nutrients. Plant Soil Environ., 66: 648–657.


download PDF

Flowering Chinese cabbages are widely planted in the south of China and often exposed to acid rain. However, the effect of acid rain on the growth of flowering Chinese cabbage is unclear. In this study, we investigated the influence of simulated acid rain (SAR) on plant height, soil-plant analysis development (SPAD) value (an index for chlorophyll content), proline, malondialdehyde (MDA), antioxidant enzyme activities, nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), or potassium (K) uptake and variation of soil nutrients. Our results showed that SAR at pH 5.5 did not damage plant development because growth characteristics, photosynthesis, and superoxide dismutase and peroxidase activities did not change obviously at this pH compared to those at pH 7.0. However, 2- to 7-time of SAR exposure at pH 4.5 and pH 3.5 led to the increases of antioxidant enzyme activities, MDA and proline contents, and the decreases of leaf SPAD value and root activity. Nutrient analysis indicated that spraying 4 to 7 times of SAR at pH 3.5 reduced the uptake of N, P and K of flowering Chinese cabbage significantly. In addition, treatment with SAR at pH 3.5 decreased the pH value of the surface soil and the contents of alkaline-hydrolytic N and readily available K but increased that of readily available P in the surface soil by 8.5% to 14.9%. Taken together, our results indicated that SAR at pH 3.5 influenced the antioxidant enzyme system and the contents of soil nutrients, caused metabolic disorders and ultimately restricted the development and growth of flowering Chinese cabbages.


Bao S.D. (2000): Soil Agrochemical Analysis. 3rd Edition. Beijing, China Agriculture Press. ISBN 9787109066441.
Cao C. (2010): The research on mechanisms of acid rain stress of rape seed and mitigative effects of exogenous ascorbate acid on acid rain damage. [Ph.D. thesis] Nanjing, Nanjing Agricultural University. (In Chinese)
Cho J.Y., Nishiyama M., Matsumoto S. (2002): Effect of anion composition of simulated acid rain on nutrient behavior in reclaimed saline soils. Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, 48: 461–468.
Debnath B., Irshad M., Mitra S., Li M., Rizwan H.M., Liu S., Pan T.F., Qiu D.L. (2018): Acid rain deposition modulates photosynthesis, enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidant activities in tomato. International Journal of Environmental Research, 12: 203–214.
Dai Z.M., Liu X.M., Wu J.J., Xu J.M. (2013): Impacts of simulated acid rain on recalcitrance of two different soils. Environmental Sciences and Pollution Research, 20: 4216–4224.
De Freitas-Silva L., de Araújo T.O., da Silva L.C., de Oliveira J.A., de Araujo J.M. (2016): Arsenic accumulation in Brassicaceae seedlings and its effects on growth and plant anatomy. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 124: 1–9.
Du E.Z., Dong D., Zeng X.T., Sun Z.Z., Jiang X.F., de Vries W. (2017): Direct effect of acid rain on leaf chlorophyll content of terrestrial plants in China. Science of the Total Environment, 605–606: 764–769.
Du J.J., Qv M.X., Zhang Y.Y., Cui M.H., Zhang H.Z. (2020): Simulated sulfuric and nitric acid rain inhibits leaf breakdown in streams: a microcosm study with artificial reconstituted fresh water. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 196: 110535.
Fang C.S., Wang D.L., Wang S.C., Zhang S.N., Qu Z., Wang J. (2013): Study on effects of different types of acid rain on nutritional quality of pakchoi. Advanced Materials Research, 634–638: 122–125.
Guo X., Wang J., Ren X., Chen W., Tao Q., Deng Y., Liang C. (2019): Response of antioxidant enzyme activities and isozyme patten in rice roots to acid rain stress. Environmental Chemistry, 38: 377–384. (In Chinese)
Hajiboland R., Amirazad F. (2010): Growth, phytosynthesis and antioxidant defense system in Zn-deficient red cabbage plants. Plant, Soil and Environment, 56: 209–217.
Hu H.Q., Wang L.H., Zhou Q., Huang X.H. (2016): Combined effects of simulated acid rain and lanthanum chloride on chloroplast structure and functional elements in rice. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 23: 8902–8916.
Kim A.-Y., Kim J.-Y., Ko M.-S., Kim K.-W. (2010): Acid rain impact on phytoavailability of heavy metals in soils. Geosystem Engineering, 13: 133–138.
Li H.S. (2000): Principles and Techniques of Plant Physiological Biochemical Experiment. Beijing, Higher Education Press. ISBN 7-04-008076-1
Li Y.F., Wang Y.Q., Wang Y.J., Wang B. (2019): Effects of simulated acid rain on soil respiration and its component in a mixed coniferous-broadleaved forest of the three gorges reservoir area in Southwest China. Forest Ecosystems, 6: 32.
Liu H., Zhang Y.H., Yin H., Wang W.X., Zhao X.M., Du Y.G. (2013): Alginate oligosaccharides enhanced Triticum aestivum L. tolerance to drought stress. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, 62: 33–40.
Liu Y.F., Zhang G.X., Qi M.F., Li T.L. (2015): Effects of calcium on photosynthesis, antioxidant system, and chloroplast ultrastructure in tomato leaves under low night temperature stress. Journal of Plant Growth Regulation, 34: 263–273.
Mishima S.-I., Kimura S.D., Eguchi S., Shirato Y. (2013): Changes in soil available-nutrient stores and relationships with nutrient balance and crop productivity in Japan. Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, 59: 371–379.
Pan J.G. (2019): Climate. In: Wen G.H. (ed.): Guanghzou Yearbook 2019. Guangzhou, Guangzhou Yearbook Press, 40–42. (In Chinese)
Qin P., Du Y., Liu J., Song L., Liu A., Wang Q. (2006): Distribution characteristics and influencing factors of acid rain in Guangdong province. Journal of Tropical Meteorology, 22: 297–300. (In Chinese)
Ren X.Q., Zhu J.Z., Liu H.Y., Xu X., Liang C.J. (2018): Response of antioxidative system in rice (Oryza sativa) leaves to simulated acid rain stress. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 148: 851–856.
Salachna P., Grzeszczuk M., Meller E., Mizielińska M. (2019): Effects of gellan oligosaccharide and NaCl stress on growth, photosynthetic pigments, mineral composition, antioxidant capacity and antimicrobial activity in red perilla. Molecules, 24: 3925.
Shu X., Zhang K.R., Zhang Q.F., Wang W.B. (2019): Ecophysiological responses of Jatropha curcas L. seedlings to simulated acid rain under different soil types. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 185: 109705.
Turner B.L., Blackwell M.S.A. (2013): Isolating the influence of pH on the amounts and forms of soil organic phosphorus. European Journal of Soil Science, 64: 249–259.
Wang Y., Xu Y.A., Li D., Tang B.C., Man S.L., Jia Y.F., Xu H. (2018): Vermicompost and biochar as bio-conditioners to immobilize heavy metal and improve soil fertility on cadmium contaminated soil under acid rain stress. Science of the Total Environment, 621: 1057–1065.
Wang Y., Zhang X.L., Hu Y.B., Teng Z.Y., Zhang S.B., Chi Q., Sun G.Y. (2019): Phenotypic response of tobacco leaves to simulated acid rain and its impact on photosynthesis. International Journal of Agriculture and Biology, 21: 391–398.
Wei H., Liu Y.L., Xiang H.M., Zhang J.E., Li S.F., Yang J.Y. (2020): Soil pH responses to simulated acid rain leaching in three agricultural soils. Sustainability, 12: 280–286.
Wu J.P., Liang G.H., Hui D.F., Deng Q., Xiong X., Qiu Q.Y., Liu J.X., Chu G.W., Zhou G.Y., Zhang D.Q. (2016): Prolonged acid rain facilitates soil organic carbon accumulation in a mature forest in Southern China. Science of The Total Environment, 544: 94–102.
Xiong Z.T., Wang H. (2005): Copper toxicity and bioaccumulation in Chinese cabbage (Brassica pekinensis Rupr.). Environmental Toxicology, 20: 188–194.
Xu H.Q., Zhang J.E., Ouyang Y., Lin L., Quan G.M., Zhao B.L., Yu J.Y. (2015): Effects of simulated acid rain on microbial characteristics in a lateritic red soil. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 22: 18260–18266.
Yu X.P., Yi L.T., Yu Q.S., Shen L. (2015): Effects of acid rainfall intensities and treatment ways on chlorophyll fluorescence parameters of Myrica rubra seedlings. Chinese Journal of Ecology, 34: 1246–1252.
Zhang B.J., Bu J.J., Liang C.J. (2017): Regulation of nitrogen and phosphorus absorption by plasma membrane H+-ATPase in rice roots under simulated acid rain. International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, 14: 101–112.
Zheng S., Bian H.F., Quan Q., Xu L., Chen Z., He N.P. (2018): Effect of nitrogen and acid deposition on soil respiration in a temperate forest in China. Geoderma, 329: 82–90.
download PDF

© 2022 Czech Academy of Agricultural Sciences | Prohlášení o přístupnosti