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The Role of Paraquat (1,1-dimethyl-4,4-bipyridinium chloride) and Glyphosate (n-phosphonomethyl glycine) in Translocation of Metal Ions to Subsurface Soils.

Keywords: Herbicide , Pesticide , Soil , Leaching , Leachate , Metal ion mobility , Glyphosate , Paraquat , Pollution , Nigeria.

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We investigated the role of paraquat (1,1’-Dimethyl-4,4’-bipyridinium dichloride) and glyphosate (N-(phosphonomethyl) glycine), on the translocation of some metals (K, Mg(II), Mn(II), Fe(II), Pb(II), Cu(II) and Cd(II)) in soil, using a topsoil (Aquic Ustifluvent: USDA Soil Taxonomy, 2000) sampled at the University of Agriculture Makurdi Crop Farm, in Central Nigeria (7o 47’N, 8o 32’E). Employing column leaching experiments with water only on native soil and soil spiked with the metals and different levels of glyphosate or paraquat treatment, leachates were collected and analyzed for their metal contents. Results showed that in the presence of paraquat the transport of Fe(II) and Mn(II) by leaching in the soil was suppressed while that of Cu(II), K and Pb(II) was enhanced. Glyphosate, similarly suppressed Mn(II) and to some extent Fe(II) translocation in the soil; however, it enhanced the mobility of Cd(II), Cu(II), Mg(II), Pb(II) and K under similar treatment. While paraquat seemed to enhance the translocation of Mg(II) at low application rates of the herbicide, glyphosate promoted its transport only at high application rates; there was no evidence that paraquat affected the movement of Cd(II) in the soil. Our results show that the long-term use of these pesticides in the field may result in the depletion of Cu(II), K and Mg(II) in agricultural soils, and that the use of glyphospate may present the additional risk of possible groundwater contamination with Cd(II) and Pb(II).


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