Sorption and desorption of glyphosate, MCPA and tetracycline and their mixtures in soil as influenced by phosphate
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Phosphate fertilizers and herbicides such as glyphosate and MCPA are commonly applied to agricultural land, and antibiotics such as tetracycline have been detected in soils following the application of livestock manures and biosolids to agricultural land. Utilizing a range of batch equilibrium experiments, this research examined the competitive sorption interactions of these chemicals in soil. Soil samples (0-15 cm) collected from long-term experimental plots contained Olsen P concentrations in the typical (13 to 20 mg kg¡1) and elevated (81 to 99 mg kg¡1) range of build-up phosphate in agricultural soils. The elevated Olsen P concentrations in field soils significantly reduced glyphosate sorption up to 50%, but had no significant impact on MCPA and tetracycline sorption. Fresh phosphate additions in the laboratory, introduced to soil prior to, or at the same time with the other chemical applications, had a greater impact on reducing glyphosate sorption (up to 45%) than on reducing tetracycline (up to 13%) and MCPA (up to 8%) sorption. The impact of fresh phosphate additions on the desorption of these three chemicals was also statistically significant, but numerically very small namely < 1% for glyphosate and tetracycline and 3% for MCPA. The presence of MCPA significantly reduced sorption and increased desorption of glyphosate, but only when MCPA was present at concentrations much greater than environmentally relevant and there was no phosphate added to the MCPA solution. Tetracycline addition had no significant effect on glyphosate sorption and desorption in soil. For the four chemicals studied, we conclude that when mixtures of phosphate, herbicides and antibiotics are present in soil, the greatest influence of their competitive interactions is phosphate decreasing glyphosate sorption and the presence of phosphate in solution lessens the potential impact of MCPA on glyphosate sorption. The presence of chemical mixtures in soil solution has an overall greater impact on the sorption than desorption of individual organic chemicals in soil.