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Influence of agroforestry plant species on the infiltration of S-Metolachlor in buffer soils

Abstract : Agroforestry practices have been acknowledged for reducing pesticide losses while maintaining land productivity. Pesticide removal from overland flow results from great infiltration capacities of the buffer soils. This can in turn threaten the quality of groundwater in case of poor pesticide sorption and degradation in the root-influenced zone. These mechanisms and their balance are likely to be influenced by plant species. However, little is known about the role of agroforestry species in the infiltration of herbicides. The aim of this study was thereby to evaluate how popular agroforestry species modulate the infiltration of water and of a widely used herbicide. We established large buffer microcosms by planting Brome grass, Black walnut, Pin oak and Poplar trees in repacked soil columns. After a growth season of 4 months, we performed ponded infiltration experiments with bromide and S-Metolachlor. We used then the HYDRUS 1D model to compare the hydrodynamic properties and S-Metolachlor transport patterns between the microcosms. In addition, we compared the sorption properties of the rhizosphere and bulk soils. We found that the tree species increased the sorption of S-Metolachlor in soil with Kd being 3 times greater than in the un-vegetated and Brome grass microcosms. Poplar trees increased the hydraulic conductivity (Ksat) compared to the control and was associated to a low retardation of S-metolachlor, which increases the risk of groundwater contamination. With slightly reduced Ksat and retardation factor in the root zone, 1.6 to 1.8 times greater than in the control treatment, Black walnut appears as an optimal species for mitigating S-Metolachlor. The Brome grass and oak microcosms had the lowest Ksat of all treatments and S-Metolachlor retardation factors were equal and slightly increased compared to the control, respectively. These results show that agroforestry buffer's efficiency can be optimized by selecting appropriate species.
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Jeanne Dollinger, Chung-Ho Lin, Ranjith P. Udawatta, Valérie Pot, Pierre Benoit, et al.. Influence of agroforestry plant species on the infiltration of S-Metolachlor in buffer soils. Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, Elsevier, 2019, 225, pp.103498. ⟨10.1016/j.jconhyd.2019.103498⟩. ⟨hal-02154606⟩

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