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Agricultural & Environmental Letters Abstract - Research Letters

Soil Warming Increases Arsenic Availability in the Rice Rhizosphere


This article in AEL

  1. Vol. 2 No. 1 170006
    unlockOPEN ACCESS
    Received: Feb 22, 2017
    Accepted: Apr 10, 2017
    Published: April 27, 2017

    * Corresponding author(s): rbneum@uw.edu
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  1. Rebecca B. Neumann *a,
  2. Angelia L. Seyfferthb,
  3. Jennifer Teshera-Levyeac and
  4. Joseph Ellingsona
  1. a Dep. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA, 98195
    b Dep. of Plant and Soil Sciences, Univ. of Delaware, Newark, DE, 19716
    c current address: Dep. of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, Univ. of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN, 55108
Core Ideas:
  • Arsenic is a common contaminant in rice, threatening yield and human health.
  • Climate warming could alter availability and plant uptake of arsenic.
  • Arsenic concentrations in porewater and plant tissue increased with soil warming.
  • Grain arsenic concentrations were not significantly affected by soil temperature.
  • Future studies should explore links between climate conditions and arsenic uptake by rice.


Arsenic uptake by rice (Oryza sativa L.) threatens yield and contaminates grain. Climate warming could affect these hazards. We tested the effect of elevated soil temperature on arsenic availability to and uptake by rice plants. Rice was grown in arsenic-amended soil in rhizoboxes that facilitated porewater sampling and synchrotron X-ray fluorescence (XRF) imaging of the rhizosphere. Plants were subjected to similar atmospheric conditions but different soil temperatures. The XRF imaging revealed greater arsenic sequestration in root iron plaques with a warmer soil temperature. Mean and median arsenic concentrations in porewater and root, straw, and husk tissue were positively correlated with average daily maximum soil temperature. Grain arsenic concentrations did not change. Warmer soil temperatures likely increased plant-available arsenic by increasing reductive dissolution of arsenic-bearing iron minerals, but the plants effectively regulated grain arsenic. The impacts of changing environmental conditions on arsenic contamination of rice should be further explored.

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Copyright © 2017. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.