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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(5), 1534-1546; doi:10.3390/ijerph8051534

Arsenic in Soils and Forages from Poultry Litter-Amended Pastures

* ,
Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, The University of Georgia, 3111 Miller Plant Sciences Building, Athens, GA 30602, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 March 2011 / Revised: 23 April 2011 / Accepted: 28 April 2011 / Published: 12 May 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Pollution: Prevention and Mitigation)
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In regions of concentrated poultry production, poultry litter (PL) that contains significant quantities of trace elements is commonly surface-applied to pastures at high levels over multiple years. This study examined the effect of long-term applications of PL on soil concentrations of arsenic (As), copper (Cu), Zinc (Zn), and the uptake of these elements by bermuda grass grown on Cecil (well-drained) and Sedgefield (somewhat poorly-drained) soils. The results showed that concentrations of As, Cu, and Zn in soils that had received surface-applied PL over a 14-year period were significantly greater than untreated soil at 0–2.5 and 2.5–7.5 cm depths. However, the levels were well below the USEPA loading limits established for municipal biosolids. Arsenic fractionation showed that concentrations of all As fractions were significantly greater in PL-amended soils compared to untreated soils at 0–2.5 and 2.5–7.5 cm depths. The residual fraction was the predominant form of As in all soils. The water-soluble and NaHCO3-associated As were only 2% of the total As. Significant differences were found in concentrations of these trace elements and phosphorus (P) in forage from PL-amended soils compared to that in untreated plots. The concentrations of Cu, Zn, As, and P were significantly greater in forage from Sedgefield amended soil compared to Cecil soil, but were in all cases below levels of environmental concern.
Keywords: poultry litter; fractionation; sodium bicarbonate; residual; water-soluble   poultry litter; fractionation; sodium bicarbonate; residual; water-soluble  
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Ashjaei, S.; Miller, W.P.; Cabrera, M.L.; Hassan, S.M. Arsenic in Soils and Forages from Poultry Litter-Amended Pastures. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8, 1534-1546.

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