Accumulation of toxic elements in soil and date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) through fertilizer application

Mohsin Sulaiman, Fayas Thayale Purayil, Sonu Krishankumar, Shyam S. Kurup, Mohammad Pessarakli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Dates are the staple food for Arabs as well as the major export crop in the Middle East. In this work, we analyzed the concentration of toxic elements in commonly used fertilizers and evaluated metal accumulation in soil and date palm. Different types of fertilizers randomly selected from fertilizer dealers in the UAE were investigated for their toxic metals. Soil and plant samples collected from continuously fertilized date plantations were analyzed. Sandy loam soil (0–30 cm) samples were collected from date palm plantations continuously fertilized for more than 10 years (11 samples) and unfertilized date palm plantations (11 samples). A significant increase in chromium (Cr) and cadmium (Cd) was observed in the leaves of the fertilized date palms, whereas, in date palm fruits, the concentration of copper (Cu) was higher. A distinct correlation was observed between the total and the available metal concentrations in the soil for Cd and Cu. The average concentrations of toxic metals, however, remained within the limits of those used worldwide. It is important to encourage manufacturers to indicate the concentrations of toxic elements on the fertilizer labels due to environmental and health implications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)958-969
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Plant Nutrition
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • ammonium phosphate
  • arsenic
  • copper
  • dates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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