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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Column System for Concurrent Assessment of Emission Potential and Pest Control of Soil Fumigants


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 29 No. 2, p. 657-661
    Received: Jan 19, 1999

    * Corresponding author(s): jgan@ussl.ars.usda.gov
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  1. J. Gan *,
  2. C. Hutchinson,
  3. F. F. Ernst,
  4. J. O. Becker and
  5. S. R. Yates
  1. USDA-ARS Soil Physics and Pesticide Research Unit, U.S. Salinity Laboratory, Riverside, CA 92507,
    Dep. Botany and Plant Sciences, Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521,
    Dep. Nematology, Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521.



Fumigation for soilborne pest and pathogen control is under close scrutiny because of its potential hazardous effects on the environment and on human health. Therefore, reduced-risk yet effective fumigation practices are imperatively needed. We have developed a column system that allows an integrated evaluation of emission potential and efficacy of fumigants. The system consists of a large, packed soil column and a sampling chamber for measuring fumigant emissions at the soil surface. Nematodes (or other pests) can be inoculated into the column and their survival may be assayed after the treatment. This approach was used to evaluate the emission of 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D) and its efficacy against the citrus nematode Tylenchulus semipenetrans when ammonium thiosulfate, a 1,3-D degrading fertilizer, was applied at the soil surface. Results closely comparable to field observations were obtained. Compared with field studies, the proposed method is rapid and inexpensive, and thus may be used for screening fumigation practices that have improved environmental safety and pest control performance.

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