Ring-testing and field-validation of a terrestrial model ecosystem - An instrument for testing potentially harmful substances: effects of carbendazim on nutrient cycling.

C.A.M. van Gestel, J.E. Koolhaas, H.-J. Schallnass, J.M.L. Rodrigues, S.E. Jones

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The effect of the fungicide carbendazim (applied in the formulation Derosal®) on nutrient cycling in soil was determined in Terrestrial Model Ecosystem (TME) tests and corresponding field-validation studies, which were performed in four different countries (United Kingdom, Germany, Portugal, and The Netherlands). The tests used different soil types, and lasted for 16 weeks. On three of the four sites, grassland soils were used while the fourth site had an arable soil. TMEs consisted of intact soil columns (diameter 17.5 cm; length 40 cm) and were taken from the site where the field study was performed. In the first series of TME tests, carbendazim applied at dosages unto 77.8 kg a.i./ha did not affect sulfate and phosphate concentrations in the top 15 cm soil layers. These nutrients were therefore no longer included in the second series of TME tests and the field-validation studies. Ammonium concentrations in the top soil layers of TMEs and field plots, and in the leachates of the TME columns did not show any effect of carbendazim treatment. Nitrate concentrations in soils and leachates did show some reduction at the highest treatment levels (77.8 kg a.i./ha in the first TME tests, 87.5 kg a,i/ha in the second TME tests and the field-validation studies). Since nitrate concentrations in both soils and leachates were correlated with soil moisture content, these effects could however, mainly be attributed to variations in soil moisture contents, and in some cases also indirectly to effects on earthworm activity. It is concluded that carbendazim, even at dosages as high as 87.5 kg a.i./ha, does not have a significant impact on soil nutrient cycling processes. Nutrient levels in TME tests and the field-validation studies generally showed similar patterns, thus confirming the predictive value of the TME test system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-128
JournalEcotoxicology
Volume13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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