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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Organic Compounds in the Environment

Atrazine Degradation and Residues Distribution in Two Acid Soils from Temperate Humid Zone


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 36 No. 3, p. 826-831
    Received: Nov 2, 2006

    * Corresponding author(s): mdiazr@iiag.cesga.es
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  1. J. Mahía and
  2. M. Díaz-Raviña *
  1. Departamento de Bioquímica del suelo, Instituto de Investigaciones Agrobiológicas de Galicia (CSIC), Avda Vigo s/n, Apartado 122, E-15780 Santiago de Compostela, Spain


Mineralization of atrazine and formation of extractable and non-extractable “bound” residues were followed under laboratory conditions in two contrasting soils (organic C, texture, and atrazine application history) from northern Spain. The soils, a Humic Cambisol (MP) and a Gleyic Cambisol (G) were incubated with labeled atrazine (ring-13C atrazine) at field application dose and measurements were made at different time intervals during 3 mo. Fate and behavior of atrazine along the incubation showed different patterns between the two soils, the time taken for degradation of 50% (DT50) being 9 and 44 d for MP and G soils, respectively. In MP soil, with 40 yr of atrazine application and lower organic C and clay content, more than 89% of U-13C-atrazine added was mineralized after 12 wk, with most mineralization occurring within the first 2 wk. G soil, with 10 yr of atrazine application, exhibited a more progressive U-13C-atrazine mineralization, reaching 54% of initially added atrazine at 12 wk. Hydroxyatrazine and deisopropylatrazine were the metabolites founded in the extractable fraction, demonstrating that both chemical and biological processes are involved in atrazine degradation. Soil G showed during all the incubation times an extractable residues fraction greater than that in MP soil, indicating a high potential risk of soil and water contamination. Rapid microbial degradation through s-triazine ring cleavage was proposed to be the main decomposition pathway of atrazine for the two soils studied. Bound residues pool also differed notably between soils accounting for 9 and 41% of initially added atrazine, the higher values shown by soil with higher organic matter and clay content (G soil).

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