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Does climate change alter pesticide risks in soil? A case study on erratic climatic events on the risk of pyrimethanil to soil microbial communities

2010Does climate change alter pesticide risks in soil? A case study on erratic climatic events on the risk of pyrimethanil to soil microbial communitiesNG Ee Ling (Malaysia)elng111@yahoo.com.my
Organisation:University of Coimbra, Coimbra (PT) - ECT GmbH (Germany)Supervisor :José Paulo Sousa (UC) & Joerg Roembke (ECT)
Summary: Climate change is one of the most serious global change issue of the 21st Century. In agriculture, climate change imposes many concerns including recently, the hypothesis that climate change will alter pesticide risks to non-target organisms. To validate this hypothesis, I investigated soil microbial community’s response to the combined stress factors of extreme weather events – heavy precipitation or drought – and a fungicide pyrimethanil using terrestrial model ecosystem (TME). The findings of this study suggested that extremes in precipitation did not change alter pyrimethanil risks to soil microbial community. Any effects pyrimethanil had on enzyme activities and physiological profile were acute rather than chronic. Enzyme activities related to C and P were affected by pyrimethanil and so was overall enzyme activity (DHA) while those related to N and S were unaffected by pyrimethanil. Extremes in precipitation elicited few effects in the measured parameters. The interaction between the two factors had some short-term effects but no long-term harm remained to soil microbial community. This study represents one of the few studies to date of the interaction of climatic and pesticide stressors on soil microbial community. Findings of this study serve to expand our limited knowledge of potential interaction between climate and pesticide in regulating soil microbial community. These results illustrate the complexity of interaction between stressors, biotic and abiotic properties of soil in determining the fate of soil microbial community. Nevertheless, a complementary analysis of structural diversity will allow fine-scale illustration of soil microbial response inconspicuous at functional and biomass level.
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