Toxicity of phenmedipham and carbendazim to Enchytraeus crypticus and Eisenia andrei (Oligochaeta) in Mediterranean soils

Chelinho S., Domene X., Campana P., Andres P., Rombke J., Sousa J.P. (2014) Toxicity of phenmedipham and carbendazim to Enchytraeus crypticus and Eisenia andrei (Oligochaeta) in Mediterranean soils. Journal of Soils and Sediments. 14: 584-599.
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Doi: 10.1007/s11368-013-0818-8

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Purpose: The main objective of the present study was to evaluate the toxicity of two reference chemicals, Carbendazim and Phenmedipham, for the compostworm Eisenia andrei (effects of Carbendazim) and the potworm Enchytraeus crypticus (effects of Phenmedipham) in 12 Mediterranean soils with contrasting soil properties. The observed toxicity was also compared to that obtained for OECD standard soil, used as a control. Materials and methods: The soils were selected to be representative for the Mediterranean region and to cover a broad range of soil properties. The evaluated endpoints were avoidance behavior and reproduction. Soils were also assembled in two groups according to their pedological properties. Results and discussion: Toxicity benchmarks (AC50s) obtained for E. andrei avoidance behavior in carbendazim-contaminated soils were generally higher for sandy soils with low pH. The toxic effects on the reproduction of the compostworms were similar in the six tested soils, indicating a low influence of soil properties. The avoidance response of E. crypticus towards Phenmedipham was generally highly variable in all tested soils. Even though, a higher toxicity was observed for more acidic soils. The EC50s for reproduction of the latter species varied by a factor of 9 and Phenmedipham toxicity also tended to be increasing in soils with lower pH, except for the soils with extreme organic matter content (0.6 and 5.8%). Conclusions: A soil effect on chemical toxicity was clearly confirmed, highlighting the influence that test soils can have in site-specific ecological risk assessment. Despite some relationships between soil properties and toxicity were outlined, a clear and statistically significant prediction of chemical toxicity could not be established. The range of soil properties was probably narrow to give clearer and more consistent insights on their influence. For the four groups of tests, the toxicity observed for OECD soil was either similar, lower, or generally higher if compared with Mediterranean soils. Moreover, it did represent neither the organic matter content found in Mediterranean soils nor their textural classes. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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Medium-term effects of corn biochar addition on soil biota activities and functions in a temperate soil cropped to corn

Domene X., Mattana S., Hanley K., Enders A., Lehmann J. (2014) Medium-term effects of corn biochar addition on soil biota activities and functions in a temperate soil cropped to corn. Soil Biology and Biochemistry. 72: 152-162.
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Doi: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2014.01.035

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Biochar addition to soil has been generally associated with crop yield increases observed in some soils, and increased nutrient availability is one of the mechanisms proposed. Any impact of biochar on soil organisms can potentially translate to changes in nutrient availability and crop productivity, possibly explaining some of the beneficial and detrimental yield effects reported in literature. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to assess the medium-term impact of biochar addition on microbial and faunal activities in a temperate soil cropped to corn and the consequences for their main functions, litter decomposition and mineralization. Biochar was added to a corn field at rates of 0, 3, 12, 30tonsha-1 three years prior to this study, in comparison to an annual application of 1tha-1.Biochar application increased microbial abundance, which nearly doubled at the highest addition rate, while mesofauna activity, and litter decomposition facilitated by mesofauna were not increased significantly but were positively influenced by biochar addition when these responses were modeled, and in the last case directly and positively associated to the higher microbial abundance. In addition, in short-term laboratory experiments after the addition of litter, biochar presence increased NO2+NO3 mineralization, and decreased that of SO4 and Cl. However, those nutrient effects were not shown to be of concern at the field scale, where only some significant increases in SOC, pH, Cl and PO4 were observed.Therefore, no negative impacts in the soil biota activities and functions assessed were observed for the tested alkaline biochar after three years of the application, although this trend needs to be verified for other soil and biochar types. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

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Unintended effects of biochars on short-term plant growth in a calcareous soil

Marks E.A.N., Alcaniz J.M., Domene X. (2014) Unintended effects of biochars on short-term plant growth in a calcareous soil. Plant and Soil. : 0-0.
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Doi: 10.1007/s11104-014-2198-2

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Background and aims Biochar has demonstrably improved crop yields in weathered and acidic soils, but studies in calcareous soils are particularly lacking, so biochar effects on plant growth was investigated under these conditions. Methods Six biochars were obtained from different feedstocks and production technologies. Chemical characterization of fresh biochars included total and extractable nutrients, labile carbon, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Extractable nutrients were also evaluated in biochar-soil mixtures with a basic (pH >8.2) test soil. Bioassays with lettuce and ryegrass were carried out to relate biochar chemical properties to effects on plant biomass. Results A sewage sludge slow pyrolysis char was stimulatory to plant growth, as was a slow pyrolysis pine wood char at an intermediate concentration, while gasification and fast-pyrolysis pine and poplar wood chars were strongly inhibitory, with reductions in biomass at realistic application rates of 5-19 t ha-1. Conclusions Statistical comparison of plant responses with biochar composition led to the assessment that plant responses were most correlated with volatile matter content and total P content, whose availability was likely regulated by pH and Ca content. Potential effects of phytotoxins were considered, but these were seen to be much less probable than effects due to nutrient availability. © 2014 Springer International Publishing Switzerland.

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Biochars provoke diverse soil mesofauna reproductive responses inlaboratory bioassays

Marks E.A.N., Mattana S., Alcaniz J.M., Domene X. (2014) Biochars provoke diverse soil mesofauna reproductive responses inlaboratory bioassays. European Journal of Soil Biology. 60: 104-111.
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Doi: 10.1016/j.ejsobi.2013.12.002

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Biochar application to soil has the potential to improve soil fertility under certain conditions. However, potential ecological effects remain largely unexplored and poorly understood, particularly those on soil biota. Six biochars were tested on two soil-dwelling invertebrates in short-term bioassays to determine effects on survival and reproduction. A pine wood gasification char increased collembolan adult mortality at high concentrations. Wood slow and fast pyrolysis biochars had a strong stimulatory effect on collembolan reproduction, but no strong effect on enchytraeids. A sewage sludge char was slightly stimulatory for both organisms, and a pine gasification char was inhibitory in both cases. Inhibitory effects were associated with biochars with high carbonate and Ca content and pH. In light of the high stimulation of collembolan reproduction, potential explanations such as soil microbial community shifts or gut symbiont use of biochar are suggested. © 2013 Elsevier Masson SAS.

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Soil microarthropod community testing: A new approach to increase the ecological relevance of effect data for pesticide risk assessment

Chelinho S., Domene X., Andres P., Natal-da-Luz T., Norte C., Rufino C., Lopes I., Cachada A., Espindola E., Ribeiro R., Duarte A.C., Sousa J.P. (2013) Soil microarthropod community testing: A new approach to increase the ecological relevance of effect data for pesticide risk assessment. Applied Soil Ecology. : 0-0.
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Doi: 10.1016/j.apsoil.2013.06.009

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In the present study, a new complementary approach combining the use of the natural soil microarthropod community and conventional test methods was used. The effects of soil contamination with the insecticide carbofuran on two geographically distinct microarthropod communities (Mediterranean and Tropical) were evaluated in their soils of origin under controlled laboratory conditions. After contamination of two agricultural soils from Portugal and Brazil, a gradient of concentrations was prepared. Soil cores were taken from the respective uncontaminated surrounding areas and the mesofauna of three cores was extracted directly to the test soil. After extracting the microarthropod communities to the test soil, these were incubated under laboratory conditions for 4 weeks, after which the mesofauna was extracted again. The organisms were assorted into higher taxonomic groups and Acari and Collembola were respectively assorted into order/sub-order/cohort and family. Collembolans were still classified according to morphological traits and used as a case-study of trait based risk assessment (TERA; Baird et al., 2008) of pesticides. The exposure to insecticide contamination caused the impoverishment of the taxonomic diversity in both communities. Significant shifts in the microarthropod community structure in the different carbofuran treatments were found for both soils, although effects were more pronounced in the assay performed with the soil from Brazil. Collembolans were the most affected group with a strong decline in their abundance. A dose-response relationship was observed, showing a consistent decline on the relative abundance of Isotomidae, closely followed by an increase of Entomobryidae. Contrastingly, Acari (especially Oribatida) tended to increase their numbers with higher concentrations. Trait based analysis of Collembola data suggested that a shift in the functional composition of the communities occurred due to carbofuran soil contamination and that species adapted to deeper soil layers were more vulnerable to insecticide toxicity. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Biochar application on a Mediterranean barley crop could reduce soil CH4, N2O and NH3 emissions

Ribas A, Llurba R, Ojeda G, Mattana S, Debrouk H, Sebastià T, Domene X (2012) Biochar application on a Mediterranean barley crop could reduce soil CH4, N2O and NH3 emissions (Póster) Workshop Biochar as option for sustainable resource management: An European Perspective - EU COST Action TD 1107. 24-25. Chania,

Integrated ecological risk assessment of pesticides in tropical ecosystems: A case study with carbofuran in Brazil

Chelinho S., Lopes I., Natal-da-Luz T., Domene X., Tenorio Nunes M.E., Espíndola E.L.G., Ribeiro R., Sousa J.P. (2012) Integrated ecological risk assessment of pesticides in tropical ecosystems: A case study with carbofuran in Brazil. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. 31: 437-445.
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Doi: 10.1002/etc.738

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The aim of the present study is to contribute an ecologically relevant assessment of the ecotoxicological effects of pesticide applications in agricultural areas in the tropics, using an integrated approach with information gathered from soil and aquatic compartments. Carbofuran, an insecticide/nematicide used widely on sugarcane crops, was selected as a model substance. To evaluate the toxic effects of pesticide spraying for soil biota, as well as the potential indirect effects on aquatic biota resulting from surface runoff and/or leaching, field and laboratory (using a cost-effective simulator of pesticide applications) trials were performed. Standard ecotoxicological tests were performed with soil (Eisenia andrei, Folsomia candida, and Enchytraeus crypticus) and aquatic (Ceriodaphnia silvestrii) organisms, using serial dilutions of soil, eluate, leachate, and runoff samples. Among soil organisms, sensitivity was found to be E. crypticus

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Applying a GLM-based approach to model the influence of soil properties on the toxicity of phenmedipham to Folsomia candida

Domene X., Chelinho S., Campana P., Alcañiz J.M., Römbke J., Sousa J.P. (2012) Applying a GLM-based approach to model the influence of soil properties on the toxicity of phenmedipham to Folsomia candida. Journal of Soils and Sediments. 12: 888-899.
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Doi: 10.1007/s11368-012-0502-4

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Purpose: Soil properties are the main explanation to the different toxicities obtained in different soils due to their influence on chemical bioavailability and the test species performance itself. However, most prediction studies are centred on a few soil properties influencing bioavailability, while their direct effects on test species performance are usually neglected. In our study, we develop prediction models for the toxicity values obtained in a set of soils taking into account both the chemical concentration and their soil properties. Materials and methods: The effects on the avoidance behaviour and on reproduction of the herbicide phenmedipham to the collembolan Folsomia candida is assessed in 12 natural soils and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) artificial soil. The toxicity outcomes in different soils are compared and explanatory models are constructed by generalised linear models (GLMs) using phenmedipham concentrations and soil properties. Results and discussion: At identical phenmedipham concentrations, the effects on reproduction and the avoidance response observed in OECD soil were similar to those observed in natural soils, while effects on survival were clearly lower in this soil. The organic matter and silt content explained differences in the avoidance behaviour in different soils; for reproduction, there was a more complex pattern involving several soil properties. Conclusions: Our results highlight the need for approaches taking into account all the soil properties as a whole, as a necessary step to improve the prediction of the toxicity of particular chemicals to any particular soil. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

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Influencia de las aplicaciones de biochar en cultivo de cebada en las emisiones de gases invernadero

Ribas A, Llurba R, Ojeda R, Ojeda G, Mattana S, Goriveau F, Sebastià T, Domene X (2012) Influencia de las aplicaciones de biochar en cultivo de cebada en las emisiones de gases invernadero (Póster) En: 1st Workshop on Mitigation of GHG Emissions from Spanish Agroforestry Sector (REMEDIA 2012), Bilbao, 8-9 marzo 2012.

Soil biochar amendments: type and dose effects

Ojeda G, Domene X, Mattana S, Sousa JP, Ortiz O, Andrés P, Alcañiz JM (2012) Soil biochar amendments: type and dose effects (Póster). EGU General Assembly. Viena, Austria, 22 -27 April 2012.

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