Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Missouri
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Beringer, C.J., K.W. Goyne, R.L. Lerch, E.B. Webb and D. Mengel. 2020. Clothianidin decomposition in Missouri wetland soils. Journal of Environmental Quality


Neonicotinoid pesticides can persist in soils for extended time periods; however, they also have a high potential to contaminate ground and surface waters. Studies have reported negative effects associated with neonicotinoids and non-target taxa, including aquatic invertebrates, pollinating insect species, and insectivorous birds. This study evaluated factors associated with clothianidin (1-[(2-chloro-1,3-thiazol-5-yl) methyl]-3-methyl-2-nirtoguanidine, CTN) degradation and sorption in Missouri wetland soils to assess the potential for wetland soils to mitigate potential environmental risks associated with neonicotinoids. Solid-to-solution partition coefficients (Kd) for CTN sorption to eight wetland soils were determined via single-point sorption experiments, and sorption isotherm experiments were conducted using the two most contrasting soils. Clothianidin degradation was determined under oxic and anoxic conditions over 60 d. Degradation data were fit to zero- and first-order kinetic decay models to determine CTN half-life (t0.5). Sorption results indicated CTN sorption to wetland soil was relatively weak (average Kd = 3.58 L kg-1); thus, CTN has potential to be mobile and bioavailable within wetland soils. However, incubation results showed anoxic conditions significantly increased CTN degradation rates in wetland soils (anoxic average t0.5 =27.2 d; oxic average t0.5 = 149.1 d). A significant negative correlation was observed between anoxic half-life values and soil organic carbon content (r2=0.782; p=0.046). Greater CTN degradation rates in wetland soils under anoxic conditions suggests that managing wetlands to facilitate anoxic conditions could mitigate CTN presence in the environment and reduce exposure to non-target organisms.