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Stream sediment, soil and forage chemistry as indicators of cattle mineral status in north-east Zimbabwe

Fordyce, F.M.; Masara, D.; Appleton, J.D.. 1996 Stream sediment, soil and forage chemistry as indicators of cattle mineral status in north-east Zimbabwe. In: Appleton, J.D.; Fuge, R.; McCall, J.H., (eds.) Environmental Geochemistry and Health. London, UK, Geological Society of London, 23-37. (Geological Society Special Publication, 113).

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Abstract/Summary

Results of previous studies investigating the use of soil and forage chemistry as indicators of cattle mineral status have been somewhat equivocal, possibly due to the limited range of trace element concentrations in the areas investigated. This paper describes an investigation of the relationship between trace element concentrations in stream sediments, soils, forage (grass and leaves) and cattle blood (serum) in northeast Zimbabwe in order to identify which, if any, of the sample media provide a reliable guide to cattle mineral status. Soil, forage and cattle serum were collected from an area characterized by a wide range of Zn in stream sediments. The area was subdivided into three regions of relatively low, medium and high Zn concentration on the basis of stream sediment data and variations in the chemistry of cattle serum, forage, soil and stream sediment samples were examined. Significant correlations exist between element concentrations in stream sediments, soils and forage but there are no significant correlations with cattle serum. Although this lack of direct correlation may, in part, be due to a range of biological factors, it is suggested that high concentrations of Fe in soil and forage inhibit (i) the availability of P to plants and (ii) the absorption of Cu and Zn in cattle. This may have wide ranging implications due to the predominance of ferrallitic soils in many countries in tropical regions.

Item Type: Publication - Book Section
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1144/​GSL.SP.1996.113.01.03
Programmes: BGS Programmes > International
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Ecology and Environment
Agriculture and Soil Science
Date made live: 06 Aug 2012 09:23
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/19004

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