• Adsorption/desorption;
  • Pesticides;
  • Wetlands;
  • Environmental fate


Buffer zones such as artificial wetlands and forest buffers may help decrease non–point-source pesticide pollution from agricultural catchments. The present study focuses on understanding the role of the substrates mainly found in such buffer zones for pesticide adsorption and desorption. Radiolabeled [14C]isoproturon, [14C]metazachlor, and [14C]epoxiconazole were used to measure adsorption and desorption isotherms on wetland sediments and plants and forest soil and litter from two sites in France. Wetland sediments and forest soil exhibited the most important potential for pesticide adsorption. Wetland plants and forest litter also showed high adsorption coefficients and were associated with highly hysteretic desorption, particularly for the moderately mobile isoproturon and metazachlor. Adsorption of the highly hydrophobic epoxiconazole was strong and associated with weak desorption from all substrates. Calculated sorption coefficients were larger than those classically measured on soils. Isoproturon, metazachlor, and epoxiconazole KOC sorption coefficients ranged from 84 to 372, 131 to 255, and 1,356 to 3,939 L/kg, respectively. Therefore, specifically collecting buffer zone substrate sorption data is needed for modeling purposes. Results showed that forests and wetlands present potential for pesticide retention. This may be enhanced by planting vegetation and leaving dead vegetal material in buffer zone design. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2011; 30:1669–1676. © 2011 SETAC