Rate of bentazone transformation in four layers of a humic sandy soil profile with fluctuating water table

M. Leistra, J.H. Smelt, A.M. Matser, J.J. Bogte, L.J.T. van der Pas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The rate of transformation of a pesticide as a function of the depth in the soil is needed as an input into computations on the risk of residues leaching to groundwater. The herbicide bentazone was incubated at 15 °C in soil materials derived from four layers at depths of up to 2.5 m in a humic sandy soil profile with a fluctuating water table (0.8 to 1.4 m), while simulating the redox conditions existing in the field. Gamma-irradiation experiments indicated that bentazone is mainly transformed by microbial activity in the soil. The rate constant for transformation was highest in the humic sandy top layer; it decreased with depth in the sandy vadose subsoil. However, material from the top of the phreatic aquifer had a higher rate constant than that from the layers just above. The presence of fossil organic material in the fluviatile water-saturated sediment probably stimulated microbial activity and bentazone transformation. The changes in the transformation rate constant with depth showed the sametrend as those in some soil factors, viz organic carbon content, water-extractable phosphorus and microbial density as measured by fluorescence counts. However, the (low) concentration of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in the top of the aquifer did not fit the trend. The rate constant for bentazone transformation in the layers was higher at lower initial contents of the herbicide.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1023-1032
JournalPest Management Science
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • sandy soils
  • soil water
  • leaching
  • pesticides
  • nutrients
  • groundwater pollution
  • biodegradation

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