Increasing temperature and flooding enhance arsenic release and biotransformations in Swiss soils.

Müller, Viktoria; Chavez-Capilla, Teresa; Feldmann, Jörg; Mestrot, Adrien (2022). Increasing temperature and flooding enhance arsenic release and biotransformations in Swiss soils. The Science of the total environment, 838(Pt 1), p. 156049. Elsevier 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.156049

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Reductive dissolution is one of the main causes for arsenic (As) mobilisation in flooded soils while biomethylation and biovolatilisation are two microbial mechanisms that greatly influence the mobility and toxicity of As. Climate change results in more extreme weather events such as flooding and higher temperatures, potentially leading to an increase in As release and biotransformations. Here, we investigated the effects of flooding and temperature on As release, biomethylation and biovolatilisation from As-rich soils with different pH and source of As (one acidic and anthropogenic (Salanfe) and one neutral and geogenic (Liesberg)). Flooded soils incubated at 23 °C for two weeks showed a ~ 3-fold (Liesberg site) and ~ 7-fold (Salanfe site) increase in the total As concentration of soil solution compared to those incubated at 18 °C. Methyl- and thio-As species were found in the acidic soil and soil solution. High temperatures enhanced thiolation and methylation although inorganic As was predominant. We also show that volatile As fluxes increased more than 4-fold between treatments, from 18 ± 5 ng/kg/d at 18 °C to 75 ± 6 ng/kg/d at 23 °C from Salanfe soil. Our results suggest that high As soils with acidic pH can become an important source of As to the surrounding environment according to realistic climatic scenarios, and that biovolatilisation is very sensitive to increases in temperature. This study provides new data and further justifies further investigations into climate-induced changes on As release and speciation and its links to important factors such as microbial ecology and sulfate or iron biogeochemistry. SYNOPSIS: In the studied Swiss soils elevated temperature increases arsenic mobility through volatilisation and methylation.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography

UniBE Contributor:

Mestrot, Adrien


900 History > 910 Geography & travel








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Date Deposited:

24 May 2022 14:08

Last Modified:

15 Jun 2022 00:15

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Uncontrolled Keywords:

Arsenic Arsenic methylation Arsenic release Arsenic volatilisation Methylated thioarsenates




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