Chemosphere ( IF 5.778 ) Pub Date : 2020-07-30 , DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.127612 Marek Šudoma; Natália Peštálová; Zuzana Bílková; Petr Sedláček; Jakub Hofman
Widely used conazole fungicides (CFs) belong to the most frequently detected pesticides in Central European arable soils. However, data on their environmental behaviour and bioavailability to soil organisms are surprisingly scarce. In the present laboratory microcosm study prochloraz, tebuconazole, epoxiconazole and flusilazole were applied to 12 different agricultural soils at background levels. Bioaccumulation to earthworm E. andrei and lettuce L. sativa roots and leaves was evaluated in non-aged (biota exposure after addition of pesticides) and aged (exposure started three months later) systems. In contrast with expectations from ageing effect (decrease of bioavailability), bioaccumulation in E. andrei was both reduced and enhanced after ageing depending on soil properties. The reduction of bioaccumulation correlated positively to the percentage of clay but negatively to soil organic matter. The affinity of compost worm E. andrei towards organic matter where hydrophobic pesticide molecules are sorbed is discussed as a possible explanation. An apparent effect of ageing (reduction of bioavailability) was particularly observed in lettuce roots, where bioaccumulation was significantly reduced in time. However, bioaccumulation in leaves changed ambiguously in aged variants among CFs, possibly as a combined result of bioconcentration, dilution by plant growth and metabolism. This study brings first insights into how the bioaccumulation of conazole fungicides is affected by sequestration in agricultural soils. The results indicate that in complex systems, the ageing is not necessarily connected with decrease of bioaccumulation.