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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Potential Use of Plants for Selenium Reclamation

Author
item Banuelos, Gary

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: June 3, 2004
Publication Date: June 15, 2004
Citation: Banuelos, G.S. 2004. Potential use of plants for selenium reclamation. Book Chapter. American Society of Mining and Reclamation, pp 105-110. (no volume #).

Interpretive Summary: Selenium (Se) is a natural element associated with soils in the westside of the San Joaquin Valley (SJV). As part of a strategy to lower levels of soluble Se, we have evaluated phytoremediation as an alternative plant-based technology that is used for managing Se in irrigated field soils. Growing selected crops for the management of Se requires the practical knowledge about soil chemistry and its effects on Se movement, uptake, and volatilization by the plants. Moreover identifying salt and boron crops is essential for sustaining long-term phytoremediation practices in the SJV. Information is presented from multi-year trials with different plants and trees that were grown for their ability to lower soluble Se levels under adverse field conditions.

Technical Abstract: Field studies are crucial to implement phytoremediation strategies for remediating Se-laden soils and waters on the west side of the SJV. In this regard, field studies were conducted with different plants and trees in saline soils known to have high soluble Se and B concentrations. All experimental sites had either soils and/or waters with levels of soluble Se that ranged from 0.13 to 0.50 mg Se/L, salinity from 6-10 dS/m, and soluble boron (B) from 5-10 mg B/L. For each respective study, soils were monitored for changes in extractable Se throughout the soil profile and plants were evaluated for their accumulation and volatilization of Se. Results showed that plant Se concentrations generally did not exceed 12 mg/kg and volatilization of Se was as high as 100 ug/m2/day. Overall, extractable Se concentrations were at least 30% lower from 0-100 cm depth at postharvest for all plant and tree species. Based on our studies, canola, salado grass, and poplar trees can be successfully planted for slowly managing soluble Se levels in soils and water in the westside of the SJV.

Last Modified: 7/30/2014
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