Sr isotope ratio in vegetable crops and apple trees depends on that of the soil environment while is unaffected by the genotype

Samira Chizzali [Laimburg Research Centre, Auer (Bolzano), Italy]
Agnese Aguzzoni [Eco-Research srl, Bolzano]
Emanuela Pignotti [Laimburg Research Centre, Auer (Bolzano), Italy]
Judith Zelger [Laimburg Research Centre, Auer (Bolzano), Italy]
Giulio Voto [Eco-Research srl, Bolzano, Italy]
Pietro Zignale [Eco-Research srl, Bolzano]
Massimo Tagliavini [Faculty of Science and Technology, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy]
Werner Tirler [Eco-Research srl, Bolzano]
Peter Robatscher [Laimburg Research Centre, Auer (Bolzano), Italy]

The 87Sr/86Sr ratio is an effective geographical tracer for horticultural products. In plants this ratio reflects closely the characteristics of the growing area. However, information about the variability of this parameter when measured in different plant species or cultivars is still scarce. In this work, we have tested the hypothesis that, when plants are growing in the same environment, their 87Sr/86Sr ratio is independent from the plant species or cultivar. For this, four to six vegetable species were collected from two fields in different locations in South Tyrol (Italy), together with the corresponding soils. Additionally, within a single apple orchard located in the same area, apple leaves were collected from trees of five cultivars. The 87Sr/86Sr ratio was measured applying an established and validated method. In general, vegetable species growing in the same field had similar 87Sr/86Sr ratios and showed a lower variability compared to their corresponding soils, while a significant difference was found comparing the 87Sr/86Sr ratios of the two vegetable fields. Apple leaves sampled from different tree cultivars also did not show a significant difference in their 87Sr/86Sr ratio. We concluded that the 87Sr/86Sr ratio in vegetables and apple trees was affected by the soil, but not significantly by the type of species or cultivar. Therefore, within limited areas, the results of the 87Sr/86Sr ratio analysis based on samples of a certain species/cultivar can be extended to other similar plants growing in the same site.

DOI: 10.26353/j.itahort/2021.3.4958

Keywords: horticultural products, geographical tracer, 87Sr/86Sr, MC ICP-MS

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Chizzali, S., Aguzzoni, A., Pignotti, E., Zelger, J., Voto, G., Zignale, P., Tagliavini, M., Tirler, W. and Robatscher, P. (2021) 'Sr isotope ratio in vegetable crops and apple trees depends on that of the soil environment while is unaffected by the genotype', Italus Hortus, 28(3), pp. 49-58. doi: 10.26353/j.itahort/2021.3.4958