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Elemental composition of grass phytoliths: Environmental control and effect on dissolution

  • Pokrovsky, Oleg
  • Akerman, Alisson
  • Fraysse, Fabrice
  • Olonova, Marina
  • Kuznetzov, Alexander
  • Loiko, Sergey
  • Meunier, Jean-Dominique
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2024
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.169764
OAI: oai:HAL:hal-04431024v1
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Plant phytoliths, which represent the main pool of silica (Si) in the form of hydrous Si oxide, are capable ofproviding valuable information on different aspect of environmental issues including paleo-environmentalreconstruction and agricultural sustainability. Phytoliths may have different chemical composition, which, inturn, affects their preservation in soils ad impacts terrestrial cycle of the occluded elements including micro-nutrients and environmental toxicants. Yet, in contrast to sizable work devoted to phytoliths formation, disso-lution and physico-chemical properties, the mechanisms that control total (major and trace) elemental compo-sition and the impact that various elements exert on phytolith reactivity and preservation in soils remains poorlyknown. In order to fil this gap in knowledge, here we combined two different approaches – analytical traceelement geochemistry and experimental physical chemistry. First, we assessed full elemental composition ofphytoliths from different plants via measuring major and trace elements in 9 samples of grasses collected innorthern Eurasia during different seasons, 18 grasses from Siberian regions, and 4 typical Si-concentrating plants(horsetail, larch, elm and tree fern). We further assessed the dissolution rates of phytoliths exhibiting drasticallydifferent concentrations of trace metals.

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