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Article Publish Status: FREE
Abstract Title:

Glyphosate-based herbicides reduce the activity and reproduction of earthworms and lead to increased soil nutrient concentrations.

Abstract Source:

Sci Rep. 2015 ;5:12886. Epub 2015 Aug 5. PMID: 26243044

Abstract Author(s):

Mailin Gaupp-Berghausen, Martin Hofer, Boris Rewald, Johann G Zaller

Article Affiliation:

Mailin Gaupp-Berghausen

Abstract:

Herbicide use is increasing worldwide both in agriculture and private gardens. However, our knowledge of potential side-effects on non-target soil organisms, even on such eminent ones as earthworms, is still very scarce. In a greenhouse experiment, we assessed the impact of the most widely used glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup on two earthworm species with different feeding strategies. We demonstrate, that the surface casting activity of vertically burrowing earthworms (Lumbricus terrestris) almost ceased three weeks after herbicide application, while the activity of soil dwelling earthworms (Aporrectodea caliginosa) was not affected. Reproduction of the soil dwellers was reduced by 56% within three months after herbicide application. Herbicide application led to increased soil concentrations of nitrate by 1592% and phosphate by 127%, pointing to potential risks for nutrient leaching into streams, lakes, or groundwater aquifers. These sizeable herbicide-induced impacts on agroecosystems are particularly worrisome because these herbicides have been globally used for decades.

Study Type : Environmental
Additional Links
Problem Substances : Glyphosate : CK(502) : AC(160)

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Sayer Ji
Founder of GreenMedInfo.com

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