Topsoil selenium (Se) under Se-rich farming in China: Current status, cropping impacts and ecological risk assessment.

Li Qian, Ting Wang, Yajuan Shi, Qiuyun Xu, Xuan Zhou, Lingjie Ke, Ruoyu Liang, Chuancheng Fu, Xiaoqi Zheng, Guoxin Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Selenium (Se), as an essential microelement, can be supplied through Se-biofortified food from Se-rich soils and associated farming practices for human health, while it can also cause eco-risks if overapplied. In this study, a multi-scale spatiotemporal meta-analysis was conducted to guide sustainable Se-rich farming in China by combining a long-term survey with a reviewed database. The weighted mean concentration, spatial distribution of soil Se, nationwide topsoil Se variation from cropping impacts and its bioavailability-based ecological risks were assessed and quantified. The results showed that the weighted mean content (0.3 mg kg−1) of China was slightly higher than that of previous nationwide topsoil Se surveys, as more Se-rich areas were found in recent high-density sampling surveys. Cropping has overall reduced Se content by 9.5% from farmland across China and deprived more with the increase in farming rotation driven by geo-climatic conditions. Long-term cropping removed Se from Se-rich areas but accumulated it in Se-deficient areas. Additionally, the bioavailable Se content of topsoil in China ranged from 0 to 332 μg kg−1, and the bioavailability-based eco-risks indicated that high eco-risks only existed in overfertilized and extremely high-Se soils, such as in Enshi, Ziyang and some coalfield areas. This work provides evidence for the development of sustainable Se-rich farming with proper utilization of soil Se resources, simultaneously protecting the soil eco-environment.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118918
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
StatePublished - Sep 4 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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