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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2012

Selenium concentrations in national inventory soils from Scotland and Sweden and their relationship with geochemical factors

Shand, C.A; Eriksson, Jan; Dahlin, Sigrun; Lumsdon, David G


Soil is an important reservoir of trace elements that are essential for animal and human health. We report on the concentration of selenium (Se) in Scottish soils sampled during 2007 to 2009 and in Sweden for arable topsoils collected during 1988 to 2007 as part of national soil inventories. Soils in Scotland were sampled on the basis of their genetic horizons and included a range of land cover. In contrast, soils from Sweden were sampled from the plough layer of arable soils with an auger to a fixed depth from the surface. We found that the Se concentrations of soils from Scotland and Sweden, which are richer in organic matter than other more southerly latitudes in Europe. are more related to organic matter content than other geochemical factors. In the Swedish soils the Se concentrations were elevated in areas close to the sea. In areas away from the sea, concentrations were also higher in soil associated with alum shales. The Se concentrations in arable topsoils were lower in Sweden than in Scotland. The distribution of Se in Scottish topsoils showed a propensity for higher concentrations in the west of the country. For soils from Scotland there was a significant decrease (p = 0.05) in the mean Se concentration in soil from the A horizon (mean 0.64 mg kg(-1)) compared to that of the C horizon (mean 0.26 mg kg(-1)), The Se concentration of the plough layer soils from Sweden had a median value of 0.23 mg kg(-1) and a mean value of 0.30 mg kg(-1). (c) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Marine input; Selenium; Soil; Soil organic matter

Published in

Journal of Geochemical Exploration
2012, Volume: 121, pages: 4-14