Biochemical and microbial soil functioning after application of the insecticide imidacloprid

Mariusz Cycoń , Zofia Piotrowska-Seget


Received February 18, 2014,Revised May 06, 2014, Accepted , Available online January 19, 2015

Volume 27,2015,Pages 147-158

Imidacloprid is one of the most commonly used insecticides in agricultural practice, and its application poses a potential risk for soil microorganisms. The objective of this study was to assess whether changes in the structure of the soil microbial community after imidacloprid application at the field rate (FR, 1 mg/kg soil) and 10 times the FR (10× FR, 10 mg/kg soil) may also have an impact on biochemical and microbial soil functioning. The obtained data showed a negative effect by imidacloprid applied at the FR dosage for substrate-induced respiration (SIR), the number of total bacteria, dehydrogenase (DHA), both phosphatases (PHOS-H and PHOS-OH), and urease (URE) at the beginning of the experiment. In 10× FR treated soil, decreased activity of SIR, DHA, PHOS-OH and PHOS-H was observed over the experimental period. Nitrifying and N2-fixing bacteria were the most sensitive to imidacloprid. The concentration of NO3- decreased in both imidacloprid-treated soils, whereas the concentration of NH4+ in soil with 10× FR was higher than in the control. Analysis of the bacterial growth strategy revealed that imidacloprid affected the r- or K-type bacterial classes as indicated also by the decreased eco-physiological (EP) index. Imidacloprid affected the physiological state of culturable bacteria and caused a reduction in the rate of colony formation as well as a prolonged time for growth. Principal component analysis showed that imidacloprid application significantly shifted the measured parameters, and the application of imidacloprid may pose a potential risk to the biochemical and microbial activity of soils.

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