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Uptake of rare earth elements by citrus plants from phosphate fertilizers

Turra, Christian, De Nadai Fernandes, Elisabete A., Bacchi, Márcio Arruda, Sarriés, Gabriel Adrián, Reyes, Andrés Enrique Lai
Plant and soil 2019 v.437 no.1-2 pp. 291-299
Citrus limonia, plant tissues, agricultural soils, superphosphate, neutron activation analysis, bioavailability, fertilizer application, greenhouse experimentation, phosphorus fertilizers, branches, scandium, yttrium, leaves
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Rare earth elements (REE) are a group of the periodic table formed by 17 chemical elements (lanthanoids plus yttrium and scandium). They have been used in different field applications. In agriculture, they can be found in some phosphate fertilizers at levels one or two orders of magnitude higher than those found in normal agricultural soils. Citrus plants are known to present high levels of REE when compared to most other species, however, there is little information about bioavailability of REE in phosphate fertilizers for citrus plants. This work focuses on the study of REE behavior by the application of increasing doses of single superphosphate fertilizer in Rangpur lime (Citrus limonia Osbeck) plants in a greenhouse study. METHODS: The technique used was instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA). RESULTS: The results showed that the fertilizer has caused significant increases in the content of REE in the citrus plant tissues, with higher concentrations in leaves than in branches. The highest substrate-leaf transfer factor was observed for La (0.0047), though the concentrations in the plants followed the same order found in the substrate, i.e. Ce > La > Sm > Eu > Sc. CONCLUSION: There was an increase of rare earth elements concentrations in Rangpur lime plants by superphosphate fertilizer application.