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Herbicide degradation in the subsurface and aquifer environment in northern and southern Europe

Objective

To establish the potential for chemical and biological degradation of selected herbicides in the unsaturated and saturated zone of unconfined aquifers and to establish the effect of environmental variables on rates of herbicide degradation.


The project consists of a common "core" experiment and a number of satellite experiments carried out by one or more partners only.
1. The "core" experiment deals with the degradation of atrazine in soil samples from two boreholes in each of the participating countries. Samples are being obtained by a dry percussion coring technique. Sampling sites are in regions of heavy herbicide use, with the water table within 20m of the soil surface. Both biotic and abiotic degradation are being evaluated in different laboratories to assure comparability.
2. The following satellite experiments on atrazine and on some additonal pesticides will be carried out:

(i) Total counts of bacteria.
(ii) Collection of groundwater and porewater and analysis for herbicides and anions.
(iii) Degradation studies at low (ppb) herbicide concentrations using radio-labelled herbicides.
(iv) Investigation of the role of co-metabolism and adaptation and studies on abiotic degradation.
(v) Detailed characterization of the temperature response of herbicide degradation.
(vi) Isolation of pure cultures of pesticide degrading bacteria.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts
Leaflet | Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors, Credit: EC-GISCO, © EuroGeographics for the administrative boundaries

Coordinator

UNIVERSITY OF READING
Address
London Road
RG6 6AH Reading / Silchester
United Kingdom

Participants (4)

BENAKI PHYTOPATHOLOGICAL INSTITUTE
Greece
Address
2,Ekalis Street 2
14561 Kifisia / Athina
Instituut voor Scheikundig Onderzoek
Belgium
Address
17/1,Leuvense Steenweg
3080 Tervuren
NATIONAL CENTRE FOR SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH 'DEMOKRITOS'
Greece
Address
Patriarchou Grogoriou
15310 Athens
WRC plc
United Kingdom
Address
Henley Road Medmenham
SL7 2HD Marlow - Buckinghamshire