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Aqueous pesticide mitigation efficiency of Typha latifolia (L.), Leersia oryzoides (L.) Sw., and Sparganium americanum Nutt

Moore, Matthew T., Tyler, Heather L., Locke, Martin A.
Chemosphere 2013 v.92 no.10 pp. 1307
Leersia, Sparganium, Typha latifolia, adsorption, agricultural runoff, atrazine, diazinon, drainage channels, effluents, herbicide residues, insecticide residues, leaching, macrophytes, nonpoint source pollution, permethrin, pollution control, pollution load, risk reduction, storms, vegetation, water pollution
Agricultural pesticide use is necessary to help meet the increased demand for a safe and secure food supply for the United States, as well as the global community. Even with proper application and careful management, the possibility of pesticide leaching and detachment in runoff still exists following certain storm events. Several different management practices have been designed to reduce the impacts of pesticides on aquatic receiving systems. Many such practices focus on the use of vegetation to slow runoff and allow for sorption of the various contaminants. Three common drainage ditch macrophytes, Leersia oryzoides (cutgrass), Typha latifolia (cattail), and Sparganium americanum (bur-reed) were assessed for their ability to reduce effluent loads of atrazine, diazinon, and permethrin in simulated agricultural runoff water in 379 L individual mesocosms. Of the three macrophytes examined, L. oryzoides was the most effective at mitigating atrazine, diazinon, and permethrin. L. oryzoides and T. latifolia significantly reduced overall atrazine loads (45 ± 7% p = 0.0073 and 35 ± 8% p = 0.0421, respectively) when compared to unvegetated controls(13 ± 20%). No significant differences in overall diazinon load retention were noted between plant species. Each plant species significantly decreased the initial load (after 6 h) of trans-permethrin, while both L. oryzoides and T. latifolia significantly reduced the overall trans-permethrin loads (88 ± 5% p = 0.0022 and 88 ± 5% p = 0.0020, respectively) when compared to unvegetated controls (68 ± 8%). Reversible adsorption of atrazine and diazinon to plants, noted during the flushing events, was greater than that observed in either cis- or trans-permethrin. These results demonstrate the ability of native ditch vegetation to mitigate pesticides associated with agricultural runoff. Likewise, they provide farmers and action agencies with supportive data for selection of vegetation in drainage ditches used as management practices.