Effects of soil types and forms of arsenical pesticide on rice growth and development

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Department of Biological Sciences


For decades, repeated and widespread use of arsenical pesticides has significantly contributed to arsenic contamination in soils. Residues from the overuse of these arsenicals may result in phytotoxicity to crops, which will depend on soil types, plant species and the toxicity of arsenical pesticides. A greenhouse column study was conducted to evaluate the effect of two pesticides, i.e. one organic (dimethylarsinic acid) and one inorganic (sodium arsenate), on the vegetative response of rice as a function of soil properties. Four soils with varying arsenic retention capabilities at two different pesticide amendment rates (675 and 1500 mg/kg) representing the worst case scenarios in superfund sites were used. Results showed that arsenic availability to rice was mainly influenced by soil physicochemical properties. The soil with the lowest arsenic retention capacity had the highest arsenic concentration in the leachate as well as in the plant tissue. In contrast, for soils with higher arsenic retention capacity, higher concentrations of arsenic were found in the surface soil which resulted in the inhibition of plant growth. There was no significant difference between labile arsenic / plant-available arsenic irrespective of the form of arsenical pesticide used. Plant growth parameters such as biomass, shoot height, root length decreased with increased arsenic concentrations in all soils. A significant negative correlation (P < 0.05) was observed between the phytoavailable arsenic and plant growth response. Interestingly, the form of arsenical pesticide used did not impact arsenic uptake or shoot growth but significantly impacted root growth.

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© IRSEN, CEERS, IAU. Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03326231

Publication Title

International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology