Distribution of the herbicide atrazine in a microcosm with riparian forest plants.J Environ Sci Health B. 2012; 47(6):505-11.JE
Pesticides applied on sugarcane reach the subsoil of riparian forests and probably contaminate the river water. This work was conducted to learn about the phytoremediation of atrazine and subsoil contamination using the common riparian forest species of Cecropia hololeuca Miq. and Trema micranta (L.) Blum. These plants were grown in soil microcosms where (14)C-atrazine at 1/10 of the field-recommended dose was applied at the bottom of the microcosm simulating the movement from contaminated ground water to the upper soil layers and into plants. Residues of (14)C-atrazine were detected in all parts of the microcosm including soil, rhizosphere and the roots in different layers of the microcosm, stem and leaves. Atrazine mineralization was higher (10.2%) in the microcosms with plants than the control microcosms without plants (1.2%). The upward movement of this pesticide from deeper to more superficial soil layers occurred in all the microcosms with plants, powered by evapotranspiration process. From the atrazine applied in this study about 45% was taken up by C. hololeuca and 35% by T. micrantha. The highest amount of radioactivity (%) was found in the fine roots and the specific radioactivity (% g(-1)) showed that thick, fine roots and leaves bioaccumulate atrazine. The enhanced mineralization of atrazine as well the phytostabilization effect of the tree biomass will reduce the bioavailability of these residues and consequently decrease the hazardous effects on the environment.