• Karagatzides, Jim D.
  • Kyser, Kurt T.
  • Akeson, Lisamarie
  • Fahey, Nathan S. C.
  • Tsuji, Leonard J. S.


Bismuth shotshell has been used as a non-toxic alternative to lead but the environmental fate of bismuth has not been studied adequately. In an uplandhardwood forest in south-eastern Ontario, Canada, soil beneath mature sugar maple, red maple and bitternut hickory was experimentally manipulated from 1999 to 2003 with bismuth pellets and ammonium sulfate, or left untreated to serve as a control. Although soil bismuth was below detection (0.1 μg g−1 dry mass) across treatments, sugar maple and hickory receiving bismuth pellets and acidification had elevated bismuth in sapwood compared to control trees. This finding suggests that soil acidification can mobilize metals from bismuth pellets into the forest biogeochemical cycle within a 4-year period


Bismuth pellets applied with seed spreader, tree cores taken, soil samples