Impact of soil-type, soil-pH, and soil-metal(loids) on grain-As and Cd accumulation in Malawian rice grown in three regions of Malawi

Jörg Feldmann, Gareth Norton, Andrea Raab, Shaun Thomas Lancaster, Angstone Mlangeni* (Corresponding Author), Eva Krupp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
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Impact of soil type, soil metal(loids) and soil-pH of rice paddies on grain-arsenic (As) and cadmium (Cd) accumulation in Malawian rice was investigated to explore the extent to which Malawi's geographical location, soil types, soil-metal(loids) and soil-pH and their interactions impact on grain-As and Cd accumulation. Multivariate techniques were used to evaluate the relationships among measured parameters. Results showed that the 1st three principal components consisting of soil-types, soil-metal(loids) and soil-pH explained 83% of total variance of both grain-As and Cd accumulation. For As, highest grain-As was detected in rice from central region (CR) cultivated in vertisols characterized with soil-As ≥ 2.5 mg/kg and soil-pH > 7.0 whereas the lowest was in rice from northern region (NR) cultivated in fluvisols characterized with soil-[As] ≤ 1.5 mg As/kg soil and soil-pH range of 6.00–6.99. For Cd, highest grain-Cd was detected in rice from CR cultivated in luvisols with soil-As range of 2.0–3.0 mg/kg and soil-pH < 6.0. For correlation, highest significant correlation coefficient was between soil-As and grain-As (0.512; p < 0.001); and soil-pH and soil-As (0.545; p < 0.001) while correlation coefficient between soil-Cd and grain-Cd and soil-Cd and grain-As were weaker and/or non-significant. These results indicate a synergy impact of soil type, soil-pH, and soil-metal(loids) that simultaneously influence low grain-As and Cd accumulation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100145
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Advances
Early online date5 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

The authors thank the UK government for providing scholarship to Dr Angstone Thembachako Mlangeni (ATM), a commonwealth scholar MWCS-2015-334 and the Natural Resource College for providing funds for fieldwork. ATM also thanks Dr Magali Perez, Luke D. Harrold, and Michael William McGibbon for providing useful instrumentation support.

Data Availability Statement

Supplementary material associated with this article can be found, in
the online version, at doi:10.1016/j.envadv.2021.100145.


  • Rice
  • Arsenic
  • Cadmium
  • Soil types
  • Soil chemistry


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