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J Environ Qual. 2013 May-Jun;42(3):794-805. doi: 10.2134/jeq2012.0222.

Sulfamethazine Sorption to Soil: Vegetative Management, pH, and Dissolved Organic Matter Effects.


Elucidating veterinary antibiotic interactions with soil is important for assessing and mitigating possible environmental hazards. The objectives of this study were to investigate the effects of vegetative management, soil properties, and >1000 Da dissolved organic matter (DOM) on sulfamethazine (SMZ) behavior in soil. Sorption experiments were performed over a range of SMZ concentrations (2.5-50 μmol L) using samples from three soils (Armstrong, Huntington, and Menfro), each planted to one of three vegetation treatments: agroforestry buffers strips (ABS), grass buffer strips (GBS), and row crops (RC). Our results show that SMZ sorption isotherms are well fitted by the Freundlich isotherm model (log = 0.44-0.93; Freundlich nonlinearity parameter = 0.59-0.79). Further investigation of solid-to-solution distribution coefficients () demonstrated that vegetative management significantly ( < 0.05) influences SMZ sorption (ABS > GBS > RC). Multiple linear regression analyses indicated that organic carbon (OC) content, pH, and initial SMZ concentration were important properties controlling SMZ sorption. Study of the two most contrasting soils in our sample set revealed that increasing solution pH (pH 6.0-7.5) reduced SMZ sorption to the Armstrong GBS soil, but little pH effect was observed for the Huntington GBS soil containing 50% kaolinite in the clay fraction. The presence of DOM (150 mg L OC) had little significant effect on the Freundlich nonlinearity parameter; however, DOM slightly reduced SMZ values overall. Our results support the use of vegetative buffers to mitigate veterinary antibiotic loss from agroecosystems, provide guidance for properly managing vegetative buffer strips to increase SMZ sorption, and enhance understanding of SMZ sorption to soil.

Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.

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