University of California

Arsenic fixation in relation to the sterilization of soils with sodium arsenite


R. S. Rosenfels
A. S. Crafts

Authors Affiliations

R. S. Rosenfels was Assistant Physiologist, Division of Cereal Crops and Diseases, Bureau of Plant Industry, United States Department of Agriculture; A. S. Crafts was Assistant Professor of Botany and Assistant Botanist in the Experiment Station.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 12(3):201-229. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v12n03p201. January 1939.

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Data from greenhouse experiments on the toxicity of arsenic to oats in 80 California soils are reported by Crafts and Rosenfels (7)5 in another paper of this issue. In most of the soils tested, texture predominated as a determiner of toxicity; that is, toxicity was greatest in light and least in heavy soils. The few exceptions to this general rule are explained by the content of iron compounds of the soils (as indicated by their reddish color) or by the properties of the soil colloids. A similar relation between toxicity and soil texture has been noted by Cooper, et al. (4) and (5), Albert and Arndt (2), and Albert (1) working with South Carolina soils, and Reed and Sturgis (11), working with Louisiana soils.

The total arsenic content of a soil has not proved to be a satisfactory criterion of toxicity. As Vandecaveye, Horner, and Keaton (15) have shown, arsenic toxicity to barley is more closely correlated with the fraction soluble in 0.1 N ammonium acetate solution than with the fraction soluble in hot concentrated HNO3. The results of Reed and Sturgis (11) show that the total arsenic content of the soil does not determine toxicity to rice. They indicate that toxicity is more closely correlated with arsenic soluble in 0.05 N HCl than with that soluble in water. According to Albert and Arndt (2), arsenic soluble in a collodion-bag dialysate is a reliable index of toxicity, whereas total arsenic is not. Greaves (9) has found no correlation between total and water-soluble arsenic in orchard soils.

Literature Cited

[1.] Albert W. B. Arsenic toxicity in soils. South Carolina Exp. Sta. 45th Ann. Rept. 1932. pp.44-46.

[2.] Albert W. B., Arndt C. H. The concentration of soluble arsenic as an index of arsenic toxicity to plants 1931. pp.47-48. South Carolina Exp. Sta. 44th Ann. Rept.

[3.] Association of Official Agricultural Chemists. Official and tentative methods of analysis 1930. 3rd ed.

[4.] Cooper H. P., Paden W. R., Hall E. E., Albert W. B., Rogers W. B., Riley J. A. Effect of calcium arsenate on the productivity of certain soil types 1931. pp.28-36. South Carolina Exp. Sta. 44th Ann. Rept.

[5.] Cooper H. P., Paden W. R., Hall E. E., Albert W. B., Rogers W. B., Riley J. A. Soils differ markedly in their response to additions of calcium arsenate 1932. pp.23-27. South Carolina Exp. Sta. 45th Ann. Rept.

[6.] Crafts A. S., Kennedy P. B. The physiology of Convolvulus arvensis (morning-glory or bindweed) in relation to its control by chemical sprays. Plant Physiology. 1930. 3:329-44. DOI: 10.1097/00010694-195809000-00021 [CrossRef]

[7.] Crafts A. S., Rosenfels R. S. Toxicity studies with arsenic in eighty California soils. Hilgardia. 1939. 12(3):177-200. DOI: 10.3733/hilg.v12n03p177 [CrossRef]

[8.] Dratschew S. M. Die Adsorption des Arsenitions (AsO3?) durch die Boden. Ztschr. für Pflanzenernähr. Düngung, u. Bodenk. 1933. 30:156-67.

[9.] Greaves J. E. The occurrence of arsenic in soils. Biochem. Bul. 1913. 2:519-23.

[10.] McGeorge W. T. Fate and effect of arsenic applied as a spray for weeds. Jour. Agr. Research. 1915. 5:459-63.

[11.] Reed J. F., Sturgis M. B. Toxicity from arsenic compounds to rice on flooded soils. Jour. Amer. Soc. Agron. 1936. 28:432-36.

[12.] Scarseth G. D. The mechanism of phosphate retention by natural alumino-silicate colloids. Jour. Amer. Soc. Agron. 1935. 27:596-616.

[13.] Schulz E. R., Thompson N. F. Some effects of sodium arsenite when used to kill the common barberry. U. S. Dept. Agr. Dept. Bul. 1925. 1316:1-18.

[14.] Stewart John. Some relations of arsenic to plant growth: part 1. Soil Sci. 1922. 14:111-18. DOI: 10.1097/00010694-192208000-00002 [CrossRef]

[15.] Vandecaveye S. C., Horner G. M., Keaton C. M. Unproductiveness of certain orchard soils as related to lead arsenate spray accumulations. Soil Sci. 1936. 42:203-15. DOI: 10.1097/00010694-193609000-00005 [CrossRef]

Rosenfels R, Crafts A. 1939. Arsenic fixation in relation to the sterilization of soils with sodium arsenite. Hilgardia 12(3):201-229. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v12n03p201

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Woolly and green apple aphids: Field trials with new materials in orchard near Watsonville indicate same timing of spray treatment controls both pests

Toxicity studies with arsenic in eighty California soils

Toxicity studies with sodium chlorate in eighty California soils

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