Behaviour of neonicotinoids in contrasting soils

Aseperi, Adeniyi K., Busquets, Rosa, Hooda, Peter S., Cheung, Philip C.W. and Barker, James (2020) Behaviour of neonicotinoids in contrasting soils. Journal of Environmental Management, 276, p. 111329. ISSN (print) 0301-4797


Neonicotinoids are widely used to control insect pests in agriculture. Their presence in the environment can affect the health of non-target insects and aquatic animals. The behaviour of four neonicotinoids, namely imidacloprid, acetamiprid, thiacloprid and thiamethoxam, has been investigated in soils with contrasting characteristics to understand their migration in soil and ecological risk. Among the study neonicotinoids, thiamethoxam and thiacloprid were found to be the least and most sorbed neonicotinoids by all the soils, respectively (up to 186 time greater adsorption of thiacloprid), and their uptake was affected by the content of organic matter in the soil. Leaching studies in columns confirmed that thiamethoxam leached out of the soils readily, pointing out to a relatively high risk of ground water contamination with possible ecological impact when thiamethoxam is used in soils with low organic matter. In soil column studies, the soil with the lowest organic matter presents the greatest residue of neonicotinoids in the sub-surface (≤5 cm). In contrast the soil richer in organic matter presented most of the contamination deeper down in the column; a factor to be considered in the remediation from soil.

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