Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Grass Strips Help Curb Erosion, Herbicide Transport

Date:
February 11, 2009
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Grass filter strips placed in riparian zones not only curb soil erosion, but can help block and degrade the widely used herbicide atrazine, scientists report.

Grass filter strips in riparian zones have been found to not only curb soil erosion, they also reduce problems from the herbicide atrazine.
Credit: Photo courtesy of Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Grass filter strips placed in riparian zones not only curb soil erosion, but can help block and degrade the widely used herbicide atrazine, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists report.

Atrazine has been used extensively to suppress weeds in corn production for decades, but because it's applied directly to soil it's especially prone to losses in surface runoff. The contamination of surface water by atrazine and its less-toxic breakdown components has raised ecological concerns.

Riparian zones are transitional areas between upland areas, such as crop fields, and water bodies. The grasses and other vegetation in these zones help reduce pollution in streams and lakes.

Bob Lerch, a soil scientist in the ARS Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research Unit in Columbia, Mo., is working with colleagues in the unit and with University of Missouri research assistant professor for forestry Chung-Ho Lin to study the effect of different grass species on herbicide transport and degradation in field and growth chamber studies.

In the growth chamber, the grasses studied were orchardgrass, smooth bromegrass, tall fescue, Illinois bundle flower, ryegrass, switchgrass, and eastern gammagrass. Plants were allowed to grow for 3 months, to maturity. The rhizosphere soil--the soil zone that surrounds and is influenced by the roots of plants--was then separated from the plants and roots. Atrazine was then added to the rhizosphere soils and incubated in the dark for 100 days at 77 F. The researchers then measured atrazine degradation and mineralization--the conversion of atrazine to carbon dioxide.

Among the plant species, eastern gammagrass showed the highest capacity for promoting atrazine degradation. More than 90 percent of applied atrazine was degraded to less-toxic forms, compared to 24 percent in the control. Rhizosphere soil of orchardgrass, smooth bromegrass, and switchgrass also enhanced atrazine degradation.

The studies have shown that grass buffers reduced the transport of herbicides to shallow groundwater and in runoff. These buffers can reduce herbicide transport through trapping of sediment and by increased infiltration of water into the soil.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Grass Strips Help Curb Erosion, Herbicide Transport." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090131123819.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2009, February 11). Grass Strips Help Curb Erosion, Herbicide Transport. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090131123819.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Grass Strips Help Curb Erosion, Herbicide Transport." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090131123819.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pyrenees Orphan Bear Cub Gets Brand New Home

Pyrenees Orphan Bear Cub Gets Brand New Home

AFP (Aug. 1, 2014) The discovery of a bear cub in the Pyrenees mountains made headlines in April 2014. Despire several attempts to find the animal's mother, the cub remained alone. Now, the Pyrenees Conservation Foundation has constructed an enclosure. Duration: 00:31 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins