Influencing Factors on Bioavailability and Spatial Distribution of Soil Selenium in Dry Semi-Arid Area

Muhammad Raza Farooq, Zezhou Zhang, Linxi Yuan, Xiaodong Liu, Abdul Rehman, Gary S. Bañuelos, Xuebin Yin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The chemical transformation of selenium (Se) in the topsoil, especially when regarded as low to sufficient Se (with high bioavailability) in dry arid environments, has great importance in the alkaline soils to yield Se-enriched food regionally. The Se content in the highly alkaline soil of the northwest region of China has inordinate agriculture economic potential, and such soil distribution is likely to produce Se-enriched crops with distinct features. One such large area of Zhongwei was investigated for the distribution of soil Se and its bioavailability, and the influencing chemical factors of soil total Se (T-Se) and bioavailable Se (B-Se) in the agroecosystem. The results suggested that the T-Se in Zhongwei soils (mg/kg) ranged from 0.01 to 0.55 with a mean of 0.2 ± 0.08, which was lower than the average Se distribution of both China (0.29 mg/kg) and the world (0.40 mg/kg). However, the overall B-Se proportion (16%) in T-Se was adequately higher than in other Se-rich soils. Spatial distribution depicted that the T-Se was specified as deficient in 42.6% and sufficient in 55.5% of the studied area, while Zhongning county was prominent with a higher B-Se proportion (22%) in the T-Se of Zhongwei. The influencing factors, such as pH and organic matter (OM), showed significant association with B-Se, as suggested by Pearson’s correlation and multiple linear regression (MLR). Furthermore, the vertical distribution of T-Se and B-Se was higher in agricultural soil (AS) than in natural soil (NS) and can be justified in the context of their association with OM. Based on these results, the Se-fortified crops can be yielded by practices to improve corresponding influencing chemical factors of soil, especially in dry areas.

Original languageEnglish
Article number576
JournalAgriculture (Switzerland)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • Zhongwei
  • bioavailability
  • dry lands
  • organic matter
  • selenium


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