Journal of environmental sciences (China)

Single and joint effects of pesticides and mercury on soil urease.

PMID 17915731


The influence of two pesticides including chlorimuron-ethyl and furadan and mercury (Hg) on urease activity in 4 soils (meadow burozem and phaeozem) was investigated. The soils were exposed to various concentrations of the two pesticides and Hg individually and simultaneously. Results showed that there was a close relationship between urease activity and organic matter content in soil. Chlorimuron-ethyl and furadan could both activate urease in the 4 soils. The maximum increment of urease activity by chlorimuronethyl was up to 14%-18%. There was almost an equal increase (up to 13%-21%) in the urease activity by furadan. On the contrary, Hg markedly inhibited soil urease activity. A logarithmic equation was used to describe the relationship (P<0.05) between the concentration of Hg and the activity of soil urease in the 4 tested soils. Semi-effect dose (ED50) values by the stress of Hg based on the inhibition of soil urease in the 4 soils were 88, 5.5, 24 and 20 mg/kg, respectively, according to the calculation of the corresponding equations. The interactive effect of chlorimuron-ethyl or furadan with metal Hg on soil urease was mainly synergic at the highest tested concentrations.