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Journal Articles Journal of Environmental Quality Year : 2011

Pesticide risk mitigation by vegetated treatment systems: a meta-analysis.


Pesticides entering agricultural surface waters threaten water quality and aquatic communities. Recently, vegetated treatment systems (VTSs) (e.g., constructed wetlands and vegetated ditches) have been proposed as pesticide risk mitigation measures. However, little is known about the effectiveness of VTSs in controlling nonpoint source pesticide pollution and factors relevant for pesticide retention within these systems. Here, we conducted a meta-analysis on pesticide mitigation by VTSs using data from the scientific literature and the European LIFE ArtWET project. Overall, VTSs effectively reduced pesticide exposure levels (i.e., the majority of pesticide retention performances was >70%). A multiple linear regression analysis of 188 retention performance cases identified the two pesticide properties, organic carbon sorption coefficient value and water-phase 50% dissipation time, as well as the VTS characteristics overall plant coverage and hydraulic retention time for targeting high efficacy of pesticide retention. The application of a Tier I risk assessment (EU Uniform Principle) revealed a higher toxicity reduction for hydrophobic and nonpersistent insecticides compared with less sorptive and not readily degradable herbicides and fungicides. Overall, nearly half (48.5%) of all pesticide field concentrations ( = 130) failed Tier I standard risk assessment at the inlet of VTSs, and 29.2% of all outlet concentrations exceeded conservative acute threshold levels. We conclude that VTSs are a suitable and effective risk mitigation strategy for agricultural nonpoint source pesticide pollution of surface waters. Further research is needed to improve their overall efficacy in retaining pesticides.
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hal-00765318 , version 1 (14-12-2012)



Sebastian Stehle, David Elsaesser, Caroline Gregoire, Gwenaël Imfeld, Engelbert Niehaus, et al.. Pesticide risk mitigation by vegetated treatment systems: a meta-analysis.. Journal of Environmental Quality, 2011, 40 (4), pp.1068-1080. ⟨10.2134/jeq2010.0510⟩. ⟨hal-00765318⟩
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