Dynamics and mitigation of six pesticides in a "Wet" forest buffer zone

Elodie Passeport, Benjamin Richard, Cédric Chaumont, Christelle Margoum, Lucie Liger, Jean Joël Gril, Julien Tournebize

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17 Citations (Scopus)
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Pesticide pollution is one of the main current threats on water quality. This paper presents the potential and functioning principles of a "Wet" forest buffer zone for reducing concentrations and loads of glyphosate, isoproturon, metazachlor, azoxystrobin, epoxiconazole, and cyproconazole. A tracer injection experiment was conducted in the field in a forest buffer zone at Bray (France). A fine time-scale sampling enabled to illustrate that interactions between pesticides and forest buffer substrates (soil and organic-rich litter layer), had a retarding effect on molecule transfer. Low concentrations were observed for all pesticides at the forest buffer outlet thus demonstrating the efficiency of "Wet" forest buffer zone for pesticide dissipation. Pesticide masses injected in the forest buffer inlet directly determined concentration peaks observed at the outlet. Rapid and partially reversible adsorption was likely the major process affecting pesticide transfer for short retention times (a few hours to a few days). Remobilization of metazachlor, isoproturon, desmethylisoproturon, and AMPA was observed when non-contaminated water flows passed through the forest buffer. Our data suggest that pesticide sorption properties alone could not explain the complex reaction mechanisms that affected pesticide transfer in the forest buffer. Nevertheless, the thick layer of organic matter litter on the top of the forest soil was a key parameter, which enhanced partially reversible sorption of pesticide, thus retarded their transfer, decreased concentration peaks, and likely increased degradation of the pesticides. Consequently, to limit pesticide pollution transported by surface water, the use of already existing forest areas as buffer zones should be equally considered as the most commonly implemented grass buffer strips.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4883-4894
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research (ESPR)
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Adsorption
  • Buffer zone
  • Forest
  • Pesticide
  • Pollution
  • Tracer experiment


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