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Content archived on 2024-04-19

Microbial diversity and activity in subsoils in relation to pesticide degradation and groundwater protection


To provide basic knowledge which will allow refinement and validation of current mathematical models for estimating the movement and degradation of pesticides in soils and subsoils.

Pedological and pedo-climatic analysis are being conducted at 6 field stations each consisting of an accessible dry well and weather station.
Measurements include long and short term changes in temperature, moisture content, moisture flow and oxygen partial pressure at different soil depths. Furthermore, the distribution, densities and degradation capacities of the microorganisms in the soil are being intensively investigated.
To make modelling as accurate as possible, laboratory studies on the influences of the pesticide concentration, soil temperature, soil moisture and oxygen partial pressure on the microbial degradation of 2,4-D and Carbofuran will be conducted. For these tests, soil samples from 5 to 10 depths, from at least 2 sites will be used. The accuracy and reliability of laboratory degradation experiments for prediction of field events will be tested in simultaneous laboratory and field tests.
As the project progresses, the results from all groups will be pooled and used to relate pesticide degradation rates to microbial, physical, chemical and pedo-climatic conditions in the top and sub-soil. Modelling of the pooled data will be carried out to relate degradation at depths to degradation in the surface layers. Degradation models published by INRA and Bayer will be combined and tested. If validated, this new, microbiologically oriented model will be added to the larger multi-compartmental simulation models currently being used for pesticide registration.

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Bayer AG
EU contribution
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Bayerwerk Q18
5090 Leverkusen

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Participants (2)