Environmental Behaviour of Metolachlor and Diuron in a Tropical Soil in the Central Region of Brazil

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Dores, Eliana F. G. C.
Spadotto, Claudio A.
Weber, Oscarlina L. S.
Carbo, Leandro
Vecchiato, Antonio B.
Pinto, Alicio A.

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The environmental behaviour of metolachlor and diuron was studied in the Central-western region of Brazil, by means of a field study where six experimental plots were installed. The soil was classified as a Latosol, and the soil horizons were characterized. Sorption of metolachlor and diuron was evaluated in laboratory batch experiments. Metolachlor and diuron were applied to the experimental plots on uncultivated soil in October 2003. From this date to March 2004, the following processes were studied: leaching, runoff and dissipation in top soil. K (oc) of metolachlor varied from 179 to 264 mL g(-1) in the soil horizons. K (oc) of diuron in the Ap horizon was 917 mL g(-1), decreasing significantly in the deeper horizons. Field dissipation half-lives of metolachlor and diuron were 18 and 15 days, respectively. In percolated water, metolachlor was detected in concentrations ranging from 0.02 to 2.84 mu g L-1. In runoff water and sediment, metolachlor was detected in decreasing concentrations throughout the period of study. Losses of 0.02% and 0.54% of the applied amount by leaching and runoff, respectively, were observed confirming the high mobility of this herbicide in the environment. In percolated water, diuron was detected with low frequency but in relatively high concentrations (up to 6.29 mu g L-1). In runoff water and soil, diuron was detected in decreasing concentrations until 70 days after application, totalizing 13.9% during the whole sampling period. These results show the importance of practices to reduce runoff avoiding surface water contamination by these pesticides, particularly diuron.



Sorption, Leaching, Runoff, Dissipation, Pesticides

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Water Air and Soil Pollution. Dordrecht: Springer, v. 197, n. 1-4, p. 175-183, 2009.