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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

The Influence of Soil Arsenic on the Growth of Lowbush Blueberry1


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 2 No. 3, p. 335-337
    Received: Jan 31, 1972

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  1. Frank B. Anastasia and
  2. Walter J. Kender2



Samples of commercial and virgin soils taken from various lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Ait) areas in Maine contained measurable amounts of As. The highest levels were found in soils from commercial fields which had been repeatedly treated with calcium arsenate for insect control. The amount of As decreased as the soil depth increased. Soils from commercial blueberry fields ranged from 7.7 to 37.8 ppm while virgin soils ranged from 5.7 to 7.0 ppm in the upper levels.

Lowbush blueberry plants grown at As levels of 7.7, 17.1, 43.8, 69.5, and 84.5 ppm in a loamy sand in the greenhouse were injured only at the highest level. At 69.5 ppm As and higher blueberry plant growth was significantly inhibited when compared to plants grown at 7.7 ppm As.

The greatest As accumulation in blueberry tissue occurred in the roots with decreasing amounts in the stems and leaves, respectively. When foliar As reached 6.7 ppm, a significant reduction in plant growth resulted.

Although As was present in all field soils analyzed, at no point did the amount found exceed that which was necessary to produce a reduction in plant growth under greenhouse conditions.

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