Plant availability of inorganic and organic selenium fertiliser as influenced by soil organic matter content and pH
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The objective of the present study was to investigate the influence of soil organic matter content and pH on plant availability of both inorganic and organic selenium (Se) fertilisers. Further, the risk of Se leaching after application of inorganic Se fertiliser was evaluated. A new interpretation of an older field study at different sites in Southern Norway showed that organic C was correlated with grain Se concentration in wheat, barley and oats, explaining up to 60% of the variation in Se concentration. Pot experiments with a peat soil, a loam soil and a peat/loam soil mixture were conducted for the present study at a range of pH values between pH 5 and 7. Below pH 6, Se uptake from added Se fertiliser was higher in the soil types with high organic matter content than in the loam. The opposite occurred at a soil pH above 6, where Se uptake was higher in the loam than in the peat soil. A simple leaching experiment after one growing season confirmed the findings of the pot experiments that Se availability in the loam soil with a relatively low organic matter content increased with increasing pH, whereas it decreased in the peat soil. Neither Se yeast, nor pure Se methionine, used as organic Se fertiliser, resulted in any significant uptake of Se when added at concentrations similar to the inorganic Se applications.