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Pesticide Mass Budget in a Stormwater Wetland

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journal contribution
posted on 05.08.2014, 00:00 by Elodie Maillard, Gwenaël Imfeld
Wetlands are reactive landscape zones that provide ecosystem services, including the improvement of water quality. Field studies distinguishing pesticide degradation from retention to evaluate the sink and source functions of wetlands are scarce. This study evaluated based on a complete mass budget the partitioning, retention, and degradation of 12 pesticides in water, suspended solids, sediments, and organisms in a wetland receiving contaminated runoff. The mass budget showed the following: (i) dissolved pesticides accounted for 95% of the total load entering the wetland and the pesticide partitioning between the dissolved phase and the suspended solids varied according to the molecules, (ii) pesticides accumulated primarily in the <250 μm bed sediments during spring and late summer, and (iii) the hydrological regime or the incoming pesticide loads did not influence the pesticide dissipation, which varied according to the molecules and the wetland biogeochemical conditions. The vegetation enhanced the pesticide degradation during the vegetative phase and the pesticides were released during plant senescence. The dithiocarbamates were degraded under oxic conditions in spring, whereas glyphosate and aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) degradation occurred under reducing conditions during the summer. The complete pesticide mass budget indicates the versatility of the pesticide sink and source functions of wetland systems.