Vol. 8 No. 1
Role of organics in reducing arsenic loading in soil-plant system under rice in the lower Gangetic plain of West Bengal
Abstract: Rice (Oryza sativa L.) is one of the major food crops in many countries. As the cultivation of rice requires huge volume of water, long term use of arsenic contaminated groundwater for irrigation may result in the increase of arsenic concentration in the agricultural soil and eventually accumulation in rice plants. In this context, an experiment has been conducted in the arsenic endemic area of village Ghentughachi (block Chakdaha, Nadia district, West Bengal, India) at farmer\'s field to explore the effect of selected organic manures (namely, mustard cake, vermicompost, municipal sludge and FYM) on minimization of arsenic uptake by rice. The arsenic status of the soil and irrigation water of the experimental site was 10.24-19.17 kg ha-1(total soil arsenic), 0.34 mg l-1 (arsenic in water discharged from shallow tube well) and 0.03 mg l-1 (arsenic in pond water). Arsenic accumulation in different plant parts of rice was monitored at different growth stages and it has been observed that highest arsenic concentration was found in root (34.84-75.25 mg kg-1), and the lowest in the grain (0.44-1.33 mg kg-1). Regardless of the growth stages the arsenic accumulation follows the order of root > leaf > shoot > grain. Both irrigation source and organic amendments significantly decrease crop arsenic uptake. Such favourable effects exerted by the selected organic matters in offloading arsenic from rice remained most pronounced with municipal sludge and farm yard manure when total uptake of arsenic by different plant parts was taken into account throughout the entire growth period.
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