Journal of environmental science and health. Part. B, Pesticides, food contaminants, and agricultural wastes

Effects of thiobencarb in combinations with molinate and chlorpyrifos on selected soil microbial processes.

PMID 19280475


The impact of pesticides, namely thiobencarb (TBC), molinate (MOL) and chlorpyrifos (CPF), on soil microbial processes was studied in two Australian soils. Substrate induced respiration (SIR), substrate induced nitrification (SIN) and phosphatases and chitinase enzymatic activities were assessed during a 30-day microcosm study. The pesticides were applied to soils at recommended rates either alone, or as binary mixtures with TBC. Soil samples were sampled at 5, 15 and 30 days after pesticide treatments. Substrate induced respiration was only transiently affected by pesticides in both soils. In contrast, the process of indigenous nitrification was affected by the presence of pesticides in both soils, especially when the pesticides were applied as binary mixtures. Substrate induced nitrification increased with pesticides in the Griffith soil (except with MOL+TBC after 5 days) whereas SIN values were non-significantly different to the control on the Coleambally soil. The binary mixtures of pesticides with TBC resulted in a decrease in SIN in both soils, but the effects disappeared within 30 days. The enzymatic activities were not consistently affected by pesticides, and varied with the soil and pesticides studied. This study showed that, when applied at recommended application rates, TBC, MOL, and CPF (individually or as binary mixtures), had little or only transitory effects on the functional endpoints studied. However, further investigations are needed to assess the effect on microbial densities and community structure despite the low disturbance to the functions noted in this work.

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