Selenium (Se) is a trace element necessary for both human and livestock nutrition. To increase Se human intake, soil Se fertilizations were performed but the fate of the added Se remains unclear. The present research aims to: (1) determine the influence of Se fertilization on the fractionation of Se in soil; (2) assess the influence of water availability on the distribution of soil Se chemical fractions; and (3) monitor the Se content in soil, leachates and plants. To reach these goals, 200 g Se ha−1 was applied to soil as sodium selenite in maize crops under two irrigation regimes, and the Se content in plant, soil chemical fractions and leachates were analyzed. Se application increased the total Se content of the soil, specifically it increased the Se content of the soluble, exchangeable and organic fractions with more pronounced effect in the soils with higher water availability. These differences disappeared over time likely due to the Se loss through volatilization. The hypothesis of Se volatilization is confirmed by the absence of both leachates during the maize growing season and differences among the treatments of Se content in sub-soil samples. Also, although the Se treated plants showed higher Se content than the untreated ones, overall 1% of the added Se was assimilated by plants. Hence, this study demonstrated that the addition of selenite to the soil increased the Se contents of the plants, but the Se does not accumulate in the soil because it is likely lost via volatilization. Further, leaching of Se into groundwater is avoided due to its association with both the soil organic matter and positively charged binding sites of soil, and due to its loss via volatilization. Therefore, soil Se fertilization could increase the nutritional value of plants without consequences on the environment.

Fate of selenium in soil: A case study in a maize (Zea mays L.) field under two irrigation regimes and fertilized with sodium selenite

De Feudis, M.;
2019

Abstract

Selenium (Se) is a trace element necessary for both human and livestock nutrition. To increase Se human intake, soil Se fertilizations were performed but the fate of the added Se remains unclear. The present research aims to: (1) determine the influence of Se fertilization on the fractionation of Se in soil; (2) assess the influence of water availability on the distribution of soil Se chemical fractions; and (3) monitor the Se content in soil, leachates and plants. To reach these goals, 200 g Se ha−1 was applied to soil as sodium selenite in maize crops under two irrigation regimes, and the Se content in plant, soil chemical fractions and leachates were analyzed. Se application increased the total Se content of the soil, specifically it increased the Se content of the soluble, exchangeable and organic fractions with more pronounced effect in the soils with higher water availability. These differences disappeared over time likely due to the Se loss through volatilization. The hypothesis of Se volatilization is confirmed by the absence of both leachates during the maize growing season and differences among the treatments of Se content in sub-soil samples. Also, although the Se treated plants showed higher Se content than the untreated ones, overall 1% of the added Se was assimilated by plants. Hence, this study demonstrated that the addition of selenite to the soil increased the Se contents of the plants, but the Se does not accumulate in the soil because it is likely lost via volatilization. Further, leaching of Se into groundwater is avoided due to its association with both the soil organic matter and positively charged binding sites of soil, and due to its loss via volatilization. Therefore, soil Se fertilization could increase the nutritional value of plants without consequences on the environment.
De Feudis, M.; D'Amato, R.; Businelli, D.; Guiducci, M.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/715648
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