Arsenic and selenium levels in rice fields from south-west of Spain: influence of the years of monoculture
There is a lack of information regarding the arsenic (As) and selenium (Se) concentrations in Spanish rice (Oryza sativa L.) fields and how soil conditions affect such concentration, especially those derived from the typical monoculture practiced in the studied area. To clarify these aspects, 76 soil samples and 95 grain samples were collected from 19 rice fields along the Vegas Altas area, the most important rice growing area of south-west of Spain. The results suggested a significant increase in the soil total As and Se concentrations as the number of monoculture years increased. While As concentration reached toxic levels in 12 out of the 19 locations, Se concentration in all the analysed fields could be considered as deficient. An increase of the As and Se concentration in soil produced a subsequent increase of the concentration of both elements in the rice grain. Therefore, it might be extremely important to control both levels. It would be necessary to establish different actions, including rotations with other crops, in order to remediate As accumulation and to increase Se intake.
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