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3.1 Soil-Plant-Animal Interactions in Relation to the Incidence of Trace Element Disorders in Grazing Livestock

  • I. Thornton (a1)


The soil and its parent materials are the primary sources of trace elements on which soil-plant-animal relationships are built. It is important to recognize, however, that anthropogenic inputs of trace elements, in particular heavy metals from industrial and urban sources, may add to and at times exceed those from natural geological sources. Both deficiencies and excesses of trace elements can result in serious nutritional or toxicological disorders, while less severe imbalances may result in sub-clinical effects and, possibly, in production and fertility problems. Where obvious visual symptoms are absent, sub-clinical effects are frequently not recognized, although the areas affected are thought to be large and there are obvious economic implications. This paper examines the influence of soil and geological factors on trace element disorders in livestock, including interactions between natural and man-made sources of trace elements, and illustrates the applications of regional geochemical maps in predicting areas in which disorders are likely to be found.



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3.1 Soil-Plant-Animal Interactions in Relation to the Incidence of Trace Element Disorders in Grazing Livestock

  • I. Thornton (a1)


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