In intensive agricultural systems runoff is one of the major potential diffuse pollution path- ways for pesticides and poses a risk to surface water. Ditches are common in the Po Valley and can potentially provide runoff mitigation for the protection of watercourses. The effec- tiveness depends on ditch characteristics, so there is an urgent need for site-specific field trials. The use of a fugacity model (multimedia model) can allows recognition of the mitiga- tion main processes. A field experiment was conducted in order to evaluate the mitigation capacity of a typical vegetated ditch, and results were compared with predictions by a fugacity model. To evaluate herbicide mitigation after an extreme runoff, the ditch was flooded with water containing mesotrione, S-metolachlor and terbuthylazine. Two other sub- sequent floods with uncontaminated water were applied 27 and 82 days later to evaluate herbicides release. Results show that the ditch can immediately reduce runoff concentration of herbicides by at least 50% even in extreme flooding conditions. The half-distances were about 250 m. As a general rule, a runoff of 1 mm from 5 ha is mitigated by 99% in 100 m of vegetated ditch. Herbicides retention in the vegetated ditch was reversible, and the second flood mobilized 0.03-0.2% of the previous one, with a concentration below the drinking water limit of 0.1 μg L-1. No herbicide was detected in the third flood, because the residual amount in the ditch was too low. Fugacity model results show that specific physical-chemi- cal parameters may be used and a specific soil-sediment-plant compartment included for modelling herbicides behaviour in a vegetated ditch, and confirm that accumulation is low or negligible for herbicides with a half-life of 40 days or less. Shallow vegetated ditches can thus be included in a general agri-environment scheme for the mitigation of pesticides runoff together with wetlands and linear buffer strips. These structures are present in the land- scape, and their environmental role can be exploited by proper management.

Vegetated ditches for the mitigation of pesticides runoff in the po valley

OTTO, STEFAN;CARDINALI, ALESSANDRA;MASIN, ROBERTA;ZANIN, GIUSEPPE;BORIN, MAURIZIO
2016

Abstract

In intensive agricultural systems runoff is one of the major potential diffuse pollution path- ways for pesticides and poses a risk to surface water. Ditches are common in the Po Valley and can potentially provide runoff mitigation for the protection of watercourses. The effec- tiveness depends on ditch characteristics, so there is an urgent need for site-specific field trials. The use of a fugacity model (multimedia model) can allows recognition of the mitiga- tion main processes. A field experiment was conducted in order to evaluate the mitigation capacity of a typical vegetated ditch, and results were compared with predictions by a fugacity model. To evaluate herbicide mitigation after an extreme runoff, the ditch was flooded with water containing mesotrione, S-metolachlor and terbuthylazine. Two other sub- sequent floods with uncontaminated water were applied 27 and 82 days later to evaluate herbicides release. Results show that the ditch can immediately reduce runoff concentration of herbicides by at least 50% even in extreme flooding conditions. The half-distances were about 250 m. As a general rule, a runoff of 1 mm from 5 ha is mitigated by 99% in 100 m of vegetated ditch. Herbicides retention in the vegetated ditch was reversible, and the second flood mobilized 0.03-0.2% of the previous one, with a concentration below the drinking water limit of 0.1 μg L-1. No herbicide was detected in the third flood, because the residual amount in the ditch was too low. Fugacity model results show that specific physical-chemi- cal parameters may be used and a specific soil-sediment-plant compartment included for modelling herbicides behaviour in a vegetated ditch, and confirm that accumulation is low or negligible for herbicides with a half-life of 40 days or less. Shallow vegetated ditches can thus be included in a general agri-environment scheme for the mitigation of pesticides runoff together with wetlands and linear buffer strips. These structures are present in the land- scape, and their environmental role can be exploited by proper management.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3199592
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