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Effects of algae and fungicides on the fate of a sulfonylurea herbicide in a water-sediment system

By March 18, 2024No Comments

We are pleased to share our last publication from Chemosphere review where Christiaan Wijntjes Yanik Weber and Stefan Höger, in collaboration with RWTH Aachen University and Goethe University Frankfurt, participated to the investigation  “Effects of algae and fungicides on the fate of a sulfonylurea herbicide in a water-sediment system”.

The impact of pesticide mixtures on various soil parameters has been extensively studied, whereas research on effects in the aquatic environment is scarce. Furthermore, investigations on the consequences of chemical mixtures on the biodegradation kinetics of parent compounds remain deficient. Our research intended to evaluate potential effects by combined application of an agriculturally employed tank mixture to aquatic sediment systems under controlled laboratory conditions. The mixture contained two fungicides and one radiolabeled herbicide of which the route and rate of degradation was followed. One set of aquatic sediment vessels was incubated in the dark. A second set of vessels was controlled under identical conditions, except for being continuously irradiated to promote algal growth. In addition, the algal biomass in irradiated aquatic sediment was monitored to determine its effects and a potential role in the biodegradation of iodosulfuron-methyl-sodium. The study results showed that the herbicide, although hydro- and photolytically stable throughout the study, metabolized faster (DT50 1.1–1.2-fold and DT90 2.8–4.5-fold) when continuously irradiated in comparison to dark aquatic sediment. Both fungicides had a significant prolonging effect on the biodegradation rate of the herbicide. In the presence of fungicides, DT90 values increased 1.5-fold in the irradiated, and 2.5-fold in the dark systems. Additionally, algae may have influenced the metabolization of the herbicide in the irradiated systems, where shorter DT90 values were evaluated. Even so, the algal influence was concluded to be indirect.