Agron. Sustain. Dev.
Volume 25, Number 2, April-June 2005
Page(s) 301 - 307
Agron. Sustain. Dev. 25 (2005) 301-307
DOI: 10.1051/agro:2005008

Sorption behaviour of diuron under a mediterranean climate

Xavier Loucharta, Bernd Lennartzb and Marc Voltza

a  Laboratory on Interactions between Soil, Agrosystem and Hydrosystem (LISAH), National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), 2 place Viala, 34060 Montpellier Cedex 1, France
b  Institute of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, Rostock University, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 6, 18051 Rostock, Germany

(Accepted 10 December 2004)

Abstract - The assessment of field-like sorption behaviour is critical to predict the fate and transport of organic compounds, especially when long time periods are considered. We compared field-derived sorption isotherms for diuron from a 4-year database collected in a Mediterranean catchment with adsorption and desorption isotherms from classical batch studies. In addition, a new technique of drying the slurry samples in-between various desorption steps was applied in order to reflect the recurrent drying of the topsoil under Mediterranean climate conditions. Our results show first that the field-derived isotherms indicated a larger sorption capacity of the soil at small diuron concentrations (larger Kf and smaller exponent for the Freundlich parameters) than those derived from standard batch experiments. Second, when the soil was dried before desorption, chemical release was reduced by up to 29% as compared with normal desorption, resulting in isotherms that were in line with results from the field experiment. These results suggest that the drying-wetting cycles are a key factor in the long-term adsorption and desorption processes under field conditions. Third, the new approach of batch desorption experiments that allow the fast and careful complete drying of soil suspensions appears to be an appropriate method to assess sorption behaviour of herbicides over a long time period.

Key words: diuron / soil moisture / adsorption / desorption / Mediterranean climate

Corresponding author: Xavier Louchart

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2005