Historical trends in iodine and selenium in soil and herbage at the Park Grass Experiment, Rothamsted Research, UK

Bowley, H.E.; Mathers, A.W.; Young, S.D.; Macdonald, A.J.; Ander, E.L.; Watts, M.J.; Zhao, F.J.; McGrath, S.P.; Crout, N.M.J.; Bailey, E.H.. 2017 Historical trends in iodine and selenium in soil and herbage at the Park Grass Experiment, Rothamsted Research, UK. Soil Use and Management, 33 (2). 252-262.

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Long-term trends in iodine and selenium retention in soil, and uptake by herbage, were investigated in archived samples from the Park Grass Experiment, initiated in 1856 at Rothamsted, UK. Soil (0–23 cm) and herbage samples from plots receiving various mineral fertilizers and organic manures, with and without lime, were analysed for selenium (Se) and iodine (I) to assess the effect of soil amendments, annual rainfall, crop yield and changes in soil chemistry from 1876 to 2008. Comparing soil from limed and unlimed control (unfertilized) plots, TMAH-extractable Se and I concentrations both diverged, with time, with greater retention in unlimed plots; differences in concentration amounted to 92 and 1660 μg/kg for Se and I, respectively, after 105 yr. These differences were broadly consistent with estimated additions from rainfall and dry deposition. Offtake of both elements in herbage was negligible compared to soil concentrations and annual inputs (<0.003% of total soil I and <0.006% of total soil Se). A positive correlation was observed between I and Se concentrations in herbage, suggesting some common factors controlling bioavailability. A growth-dilution effect for I and Se was suggested by the positive correlation between growing season rainfall (GSR) and herbage yield together with soil-to-plant transfer factors decreasing with yield. Phosphate and sulphate fertilizers reduced I and Se herbage concentrations, both through ion competition and increased herbage yield. Results suggest that in intensive agriculture with soil pH control, the I requirement of grazing animals is not likely to be met by herbage alone.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 02660032
Date made live: 12 May 2017 14:11 +0 (UTC)

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