Submitted to: Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/15/2000
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary: Elevated levels of selenium have been measured in soils and agricultural effluent produced in central California. Phytoremediation is an alternative strategy developed by the WMRL to reduce soil Se levels. Plants which accumulate Se, can be cultivated, harvested, and removed as Se-enriched plant material. Selenium, while not required by plants, is an essential trace element for normal nutrition and health of animals. In this regard, the WMRL has suggested plants that were used for phytoremediation of Se, may be harvested and carefully blended with animal forage and fed to animals in Se-deficient areas. This strategy may be considered as a potential disposal option for plants used in the phytoremediation of Se. In our study, lambs fed 'Se-containing canola' has increased Se concentrations in all tested tissues. Canola used for the phytoremediation of Se, may be used as a source of supplemental Se to lambs.
Technical Abstract: The WMRL has suggested mixing plant material used for the phytoremediation of Se with animal fodder and feeding the blend to animals in Se-deficient areas. This strategy may be considered as a potential disposal option for plants used in the phytoremediation of Se in Se-laden soils. Selenium accumulation and se excretion by lambs fed Brassica napus (canola) was investigated for 64 days. Treatments consisted of feeding lambs 'Se-canola' (5 mg Se kg/DM) or 'control canola' (<0.2 mg Se kg/DM). Urine and feces samples were collected weekly and analyzed for Se. Other samples were collected, i.e., blood, heart, liver, kidney, spleen, and muscle. Selenium absorption occurred as indicated by the increased Se concentrations in all tested tissues from lambs fed 'Se-canola'. Moreover, the animals readily ate the harvested canola, irrespective of treatment. Using Se-rich plants as supplemental animal feed may be considered as a potential disposal option for plants used in the phytoremediation of se after strict monitoring of Se in the proposed foliage material.