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Absorption of Excess Selenium and Sulfur by Plants and Animals

Mayland, H.F. (1995) Absorption of Excess Selenium and Sulfur by Plants and Animals. pp. 362-371. In: Vance, G.F. and Schuman, G.E. (eds.) Special Symposium - Selenium: Mining, Reclamation and Environmental Impacts. National Meeting of the American Society for Surface Mining and Reclamation. USA-WY-Gillette, 1995/06/05-08.

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High concentrations of selenium (Se) and sulfur (S) often occur in overburden soils and underlying
shales associated with western coal mining areas. Knowing the role of Se and S in the soil-plant-animal system
is important for proper management of mine spoil reclamation. I will discuss recent findings about Se and S forms
in soil, their absorption and accumulation by plants, and their subsequent toxicity to grazing animals. Selenium
absorbed by the accumulating plants is metabolized to non-protein forms, while that absorbed by the non-accumulating
plants occurs predominantly as selenomethionine which is readily absorbed by animals. In animals,
both acute and chronic forms of selenosis are known. Death occurs when a large dose of highly-available Se is
ingested. One chronic form "alkali disease", produces symptoms of inappetence, hair loss, hardening and extension
of nails and hooves, reduced weight gains, and poor reproductive performance. Rosenfeld and Beath identified
"blind staggers" as another form of selenosis, but this disorder; more appropriately called polioencephalomalacia
(PEM), occurs only in ruminants. However, the attribution of "blind staggers" (PEM) to excess Se is being
questioned. Recent experimental evidence has shown that PEM is likely caused by excess sulfur. Cases of this
disorder have been documented in the U.S. and Canada when ruminants have high sulfate intake from herbage and
drinking water. Decisions regarding western mine reclamation should consider the potential for not only causing
excess Se, but also excess sulfate in water, soil, and plants.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
NWISRL Publication Number: 0872
Subjects: Animal > Animal health
Mass Import - autoclassified (may be erroneous)
Depositing User: Dan Stieneke
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2010 21:56
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2016 18:39
Item ID: 933