Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 20, pp 20048–20056 | Cite as

Controlling factors of soil selenium distribution in a watershed in Se-enriched and longevity region of South China

  • Ya Shao
  • Chongfa Cai
  • Haitao Zhang
  • Wei Fu
  • Xuemei Zhong
  • Shen Tang
Research Article


Selenium (Se) is an essential nutritional element for human beings. Many studies have been conducted on concentration and distribution patterns of soil Se in low Se, Se-enriched, and selenosis areas; however, soil Se has not been systematically studied in a watershed, especially in Se-enriched longevity region and karst area in South China. This study is carried out to explore the controlling factors of Se-enriched soils in Baishou river tributary watershed, where soils are Se-enriched, and local people have the phenomenon of longevity. The area-weighted average rock Se concentration in the watershed is 0.054 mg/kg, and there are no significant differences in rock Se concentration between different strata and between different lithological rocks. The area-weighted average concentration of Se in soils (0–20 cm) is 0.80 mg/kg, and the soil Se concentration is of high level in the watershed. Soil Se concentration decreases from upstream to downstream in the watershed, and significantly correlated with elevation. Climate is the main factor causing high content of soil Se in the watershed which lacks black rock series. The difference of clastic and carbonate parent materials in soil forming process and the physical and chemical properties (pH, OM, etc.) are the main reasons for the spatial variation of Se distribution in the watershed. The research will be beneficial to the development and utilization of Se-enriched soil in Se-enriched area.


Selenium Se-enriched soil Controlling factors Longevity region Watershed South China 



The authors would like to thank Guangxi Scientific Experiment Center of Mining, Metallurgy, and Environment, Guilin University of Technology, and Guangxi Key Laboratory of Environmental Pollution Control Theory and Technology for their support.

Funding information

This study is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41267082, 41462005).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Resources and EnvironmentHuazhong Agricultural UniversityWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.College of Earth SciencesGuilin University of TechnologyGuilinChina
  3. 3.College of Environmental Science and EngineeringGuilin University of TechnologyGuilinChina

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