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Keywords:

  • Imazapyr;
  • Environmental behavior;
  • Half-life;
  • Sorption coefficients

Abstract

Imazapyr is a herbicide widely used for weed control in imidazolinone-tolerant sunflower. Imazapyr has a high potential for leaching into groundwater because it is highly water-soluble, persistent in soil, and only weakly sorbed by soils. There is a lack of information available in Argentina concerning groundwater leaching of imazapyr. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to determine the persistence and sorption of imazapyr in 3 Argentinean soils (Tandil, Anguil, and Cerro Azul sites). The presence and concentration of imazapyr were determined and quantified by ultra-performance liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry. The persistence in soils followed the order: Cerro Azul > Tandil > Anguil, with half-life values of 121 d, 75 d, and 37 d, respectively. The half-life of imazapyr was negatively associated with soil pH and iron and aluminum content, and was positively related to clay content. Imazapyr sorption was found to be well described by the Freundlich isotherm. Soil pH and clay, iron, and aluminum contents were the main factors affecting the sorption of imazapyr. The sorption had a limiting effect on the degradation rate. Under certain conditions, the weak sorption and high persistence may increase the movement of imazapyr in the soil profile and the risk of groundwater pollution. Environ Toxicol Chem 2014;33:29–34. © 2013 SETAC