Accumulation of arsenic in soil and rice under wetland condition in Bangladesh uri icon

abstract

  • Shallow tube well (STW) water, often contaminated with arsenic (As), is used extensively in Bangladesh for irrigating rice fields in the dry season, leading to potential As accumulation in soils. In the current study the consequences of arsenic from irrigation water and direct surface (0-15 cm) soil application were studied under field conditions with wetland rice culture over 2 years. Twenty PVC cylinders (30-cm length and 30-cm diameter) were installed in field plots to evaluate the mobility and vertical distribution of soil As, As mass balance, and the resulting influences on rice yield and plant-As concentration in Boro (dry season) and transplanted (T.) Aman (wet season) rice over the 2-year growth cycle. Treatments included irrigation-water As concentrations of 0, 1 and 2 mg L-1 (Boro season only) and soil-As concentrations of 10 and 20 mg kg(-1). Following the 2-year cropping sequence the major portion (39.3-47.6%) of the applied arsenic was retained within the rooting zone at 0-15 cm depth, with 14.7-19.5% of the total applied As at the 5-10 cm and 10-15 cm soil depths compared to 1.3-3.6% at the 35-40 cm soil depth. These results indicate the relatively low mobility of applied As and the likely continued detrimental accumulation of As within the rooting zone. Arsenic addition in either irrigation water or as soil-applied As resulted in yield reductions from 21 to 74 % in Boro rice and 8 to 80 % in T. Aman rice, the latter indicating the strong residual effect of As on subsequent crops. The As concentrations in rice grain (0.22 to 0.81 A mu g g(-1)), straw (2.64 to 12.52 A mu g g(-1)) and husk (1.20 to 2.48 A mu g g(-1)) increased with increasing addition of As. These results indicate the detrimental impacts of continued long-term irrigation with As-contaminated water on agricultural sustainability, food security and food quality in Bangladesh. A critical need exists for the development of crop and water management strategies to minimize potential As hazard in wetland rice production.

publication date

  • 2010
  • 2010