The behaviour of pesticides in the soil is a complex issue and is controlled by the physical, chemical and biological properties of the soil. The ability of microorganisms to degrade pesticides is not only controlled by the bioavailability of a chemical but also by their capacity to develop the ability to utilise available chemicals. The development of catabolism in the indigenous soil microflora of four organically and one conventionally managed soils was investigated for two pesticides: cypermethrin and diazinon. Soils were amended with cypermethrin and diazinon and aged for 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 14 weeks and, at each time point, mineralisation of freshly added (14) C-cypermethrin or (14) C-diazinon was measured by trapping (14) CO2. In general, contact times between the soil and the pesticide resulted in a reduction in the lag phase (the period of time before mineralisation exceeded 5% of the added activity), followed by increases in the extent of mineralisation. Cypermethrin was mineralised signifi. cantly in all soils; whereas, diazinon was only appreciably mineralised in two of the soils, most notably in the organic soil from Redesdale. Statistical analysis showed pH and organic matter content of the soil had a significant effect on the extent of mineralisation (P <= 0.05) of the cypermethrin in the soils.
Joint Meeting on Sources, Fate, Behaviour and Effects of Organic Chemicals at the Regional and Global Scale, Lancaster, ENGLAND, SEP, 2006