Kinetic distribution of 14C-Metsulfuron-Methyl residues in paddy soils under different moisture conditions

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Rice paddy soils undergo several cycles of drying and wetting during a growing season. A laboratory study was conducted to determine the effect of soil moisture conditions on the distribution and kinetics of extractable and bound residues of 14C-metsulfuron-methyl in six Chinese paddy soils during 84 d of incubation at 15°C with moisture contents varying from 20 to 50% of the field water-holding capacity. The amount of extractable residues consistently increased and bound residues decreased with increasing soil moisture content. At the end of the incubation experiments, extractable residues and bound residues accounted for 34.5 to 84.4% and 11.6 to 53.3% of applied radioactivity in soils, respectively. Soil pH and soil microbial biomass carbon were the most predominant factors affecting the formation and relative distribution of herbicide residues between extractable and bound residue forms. In high-pH soils, bound residues decreased and extractable residues increased, suggesting an increased leaching risk for metsulfuron-methyl in alkaline soils. High precipitation rates, along with the common practice of liming in southeastern China, may lead to enhanced herbicide leaching as well as phytotoxicity to rotation plants and should be considered in overall pest management practices.

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