Mechanisms of Blocking, Controlling and Remediating Heavy Metal Pollution in Farmland

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This special issue belongs to the section "Soil and Plant Nutrition".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2024 | Viewed by 210

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
School of Geoscience, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, LA 70504, USA
Interests: soil and water remediation; metals; microplastic in soil; mine activity; environmental geochemistry and environmental geology

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Guest Editor
School of Computing, Engineering & Physical Sciences, University of the West of Scotland, Paisley PA1 2BE, UK
Interests: environmental geochemistry and health; behavior and transport of pollutants in atmospheric, aquatic, and terrestrial environments; policy related to environmental regulation (waste and environmental management); contaminated land risk and remediation; urban management; environmental and public health
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Overpopulation leads to agricultural intensification; simultaneously, the quality of the standard of living, food, and environmental safety is improving. Significant metal (potential toxic element—PTE) concentrations in soil are a widespread problem, especially in agricultural soil. PTEs enter the soil and are persistent, and pollutants accumulate, resulting in a wider impact on the ecosystem; biological uptake within the soil biome and into the food chain as well as releases into soil–water systems provide a significant challenge to maintain and exploit soils for agriculture. Diffuse pollution and excessive industrial emissions create a significant burden on soil ecosystem services in landscapes under pressure from climate change and degradation.

We invite submissions of critical reviews and primary research papers addressing the impact of pollution on agricultural soils; strategies to manage and remediate PTEs; and long-term outlooks on regulation, food security, and public health. Ideally, these works should highlight sustainable development goals and the linkage between policy and public health.

Many human diseases are caused by high concentrations of PTEs in soil, the most dangerous inorganic contaminants. PTEs bioaccumulate; that is, they can accumulate and be converted into toxic compounds that microorganisms cannot efficiently degrade. PTEs can infiltrate groundwater, be re-mobilized, become more available, and be transported by precipitation and wind.

Some PTEs are crucial at low concentrations for plants and animals, yet increasing this concentration might prove perilous.

PTE remediation facilitates reductions in their soil concentrations, mobility and bioavailability, and risks to humans, animals, and plants.

Global PTE concentrations concern 20 million ha of land, mainly affecting agricultural soils and the food web. Many remediation technologies have been studied to reduce their effects, mobility, and availability in order to improve ecosystem quality. Each remediation technique shows advantages and disadvantages; the choice of one in favour of another depends on contaminants, cost, time, efficiency, and public acceptance.

The scope of this Special Issue is to depict efficient techniques for PTE-enriched farmland, mostly in situ techniques grounded in nature-based solution principles. Farmland pollution by PTEs is a monumental challenge, and nature-based solutions are fundamental for sustainable development, particularly for developing countries. Elaborate policies and guidelines by the FAO and the WHO on avoiding contamination and reducing contaminant concentrations highlight the application of nature-based solutions.

This Special Issue concerns the application of in situ techniques and nature-based solutions to tackle different concentrations of contaminants in farmland soils.

Dr. Alessia Corami
Prof. Dr. Andrew S. Hursthouse
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Agronomy is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • heavy metals
  • soils
  • remediation solutions
  • nature-based solutions
  • biochar
  • fertilizer
  • pesticides
  • groundwater
  • nutrients
  • anthropogenic contaminants

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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