Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Plant buffers may limit spread of antibiotics in animal waste

Date:
February 16, 2010
Source:
University of Missouri-Columbia
Summary:
Buffer strips of grasses and other plants can trap and break down veterinary antibiotics in manure fertilizers, according to new research.

This photo shows buffer strips of grass and trees adjacent to cornfields at MU Greenley Center, Novelty, Mo.
Credit: Kristen Veum

Research by scientists at the University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry suggests that buffer strips of grasses and other plants can trap and break down veterinary antibiotics in manure fertilizers.

Buffer strips have already demonstrated that they can be effective in protecting water quality, controlling erosion and supporting wildlife around crop fields.

"That's the beauty of it," said Keith Goyne, assistant professor of environmental soil chemistry in the MU School of Natural Resources. "Vegetative buffers already are a recommended practice for reducing sediment, nutrients and herbicides in surface runoff. Our research is showing another benefit."

The finding comes amid emerging concerns about the use of veterinary antibiotics in livestock farming. Thirty to 80 percent of any given dose of antibiotic may end up excreted as waste rather than absorbed by the animal, Goyne said. When manure is used to fertilize croplands, antibiotics in the manure-enriched soil may leave the farm via surface runoff and eventually end up in streams, lakes or rivers.

While the concentrations of the antibiotics appear to be too small to pose a direct threat to human health, scientists worry that the presence of these compounds in soil and water may foster the emergence of drug-resistant bacteria that could infect wildlife, livestock and people. The compounds also may harm ecosystems by disrupting communities of soil microbes, which play a crucial role in cycling nutrients and decomposing organic matter.

Earlier studies by MU scientists have shown that grass buffers in croplands can filter herbicides in surface runoff by physically trapping sediment and nurturing microorganisms that break down herbicides.

Goyne and colleagues -- including assistant professor of forestry Chung-Ho Lin, professor of soil science Steven Anderson, graduate student Bei Chu, and two USDA soil scientists based at MU, Robert Lerch and Robert Kremer -- have been conducting laboratory and field tests to see if buffers could play a similar role in filtering antibiotics.

In one study, the researchers collected soil samples from both croplands and grass and agroforestry buffers at three MU research farms in Missouri -- the Horticulture and Agroforestry Research Center in New Franklin, Southwest Center in Mount Vernon, and the Greenley Research Center in Novelty. They exposed the samples to two common veterinary antibiotics, sulfadimethoxine and oxytetracycline.

Comparisons of soil from croplands and buffers revealed that soils from several types of plant buffers were effective at reducing concentrations of the antibiotics.

A report on the research appeared recently in the journal Agroforestry Systems.

Related projects include a study at MU's Bradford Farm near Columbia that looks at the effectiveness of three different buffer designs in reducing antibiotics in surface runoff.

The overall goal is to determine which combinations of plant species and soil types are most effective at filtering and degrading antibiotics, Goyne said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Missouri-Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Missouri-Columbia. "Plant buffers may limit spread of antibiotics in animal waste." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100212172539.htm>.
University of Missouri-Columbia. (2010, February 16). Plant buffers may limit spread of antibiotics in animal waste. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100212172539.htm
University of Missouri-Columbia. "Plant buffers may limit spread of antibiotics in animal waste." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100212172539.htm (accessed September 29, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, September 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) Amid California's worst drought in decades, scientists at UC Davis design a sustainable winery that includes a water recycling system. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Argentina Worries Over Decline of Soybean Prices

Argentina Worries Over Decline of Soybean Prices

AFP (Sep. 27, 2014) The drop in price of soy on the international market is a cause for concern in Argentina, as soybean exports are a major source of income for Latin America's third largest economy. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mama Bear, Cubs Hang out in California Backyard

Mama Bear, Cubs Hang out in California Backyard

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) A mama bear and her two cubs climb trees, wrestle and take naps in the backyard of a Monrovia, California home. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Crazy' Climate Forces Colombian Farmers to Adapt

'Crazy' Climate Forces Colombian Farmers to Adapt

AFP (Sep. 26, 2014) Once upon a time, farming was a blissfully low-tech business on Colombia's northern plains. Duration: 02:05 Video provided by AFP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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