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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Integrated Strategies for Improved Water Quality and Ecosystem Integrity within Agricultural Watersheds

Location: Water Quality and Ecology Research

Title: Aqueous pesticide mitigation efficiency of Typha Latifolia (L.), Leersia Oryzoides (L.) SW., and Sparganium Americanum Nutt

Authors
item Moore, Matthew
item Tyler, Heather -
item Locke, Martin

Submitted to: Chemosphere
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 30, 2013
Publication Date: July 22, 2013
Citation: Moore, M.T., Tyler, H.L., Locke, M.A. 2013. Aqueous pesticide mitigation efficiency of Typha Latifolia (L.), Leersia Oryzoides (L.) SW., and Sparganium Americanum Nutt. Chemosphere. 92:1307-1313.

Interpretive Summary: Agricultural runoff containing pesticides can damage fish, invertebrates, and other aquatic organisms following storm or irrigation runoff events. One proposed management practice is the use of vegetated agricultural drainage ditches to intercept agricultural runoff and filter out the pesticides. Three common types of plants found in ditches were evaluated to see how well they could reduce the amount of pesticides travelling in storm water. The plant rice cutgrass was the most effective at decreasing concentrations and loads of the two insecticides and one herbicide tested. Cattails and bur-reeds were slightly less effective, but still valuable in reducing the amount of pesticides from water. These results are important for conservation planners and farmers interested in reducing the amount of pesticides leaving agricultural fields following runoff.

Technical Abstract: 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 (p = 0.0073 and p = 0.0421, respectively) when compared to unvegetated controls. 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 (p = 0.0022 and p = 0.0020, respectively) when compared to unvegetated controls. 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.

Last Modified: 11/20/2014
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