EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Analyzing the impact of soil properties on glyphosate degradation

Anneli S. Karlsson1,2,3, Lutz Weihermüller3, Stephan Köppchen3, Harry Vereecken3, Michaela Dippold4, and Sandra Spielvogel1
Anneli S. Karlsson et al.
  • 1Institute of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, Department of Soil Science, Christian-Albrechts University Kiel, Kiel, Germany (
  • 2Institute of Geography, Soil Science, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  • 3Institute of Bio- and Geoscience IBG-3, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Jülich, Germany
  • 4Department of Agricultural Soil Science, Georg-August-University of Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany

In year 1974, Monsanto introduced the glyphosate [N-(phosphonomethyl) glycine] product RoundUp and in the 1990s also glyphosate resistant crops. Since then, and increasingly after the expiry of the patent, glyphosate has become the most commonly used herbicide worldwide. The estimation of the worldwide use of glyphosate as an active ingredient amounts to more than 800,000 tons/year (estimation from 2014). A herbicide of such wide spread use, commercial in agriculture and for personal use in gardens, has been found in many different environmental compartments (e.g. surface waters and food) and with negative impact on non-target organisms (e.g. glyphosate resistance in weeds, or bactericidal effects). Glyphosate persistence and degradation of the compound differ between strongly between soils. In this study, we focus on elucidating the factors contributing to the persistence and degradation of glyphosate in two contrasting soils. Different chemical additives (N, P, DOM), as well as pH change and microbial transfer alongside glyphosate application were investigated in a 14C-glyphosate multi-labeling approach, upon their effect on the glyphosate degradation. The study shows that pH initially has a strong positive impact the mineralization in both soils and the DOM addition only increased the mineralization slightly. On the other hand, phosphate addition shows contrasting results in both soils, and nitrate addition lowered the mineralization significantly. Microbial transfer did not have any significant effect on the mineralization. Furthermore, we identify the impact of adsorption of glyphosate in soil as one of the major factors reducing glyphosate degradation.

How to cite: Karlsson, A. S., Weihermüller, L., Köppchen, S., Vereecken, H., Dippold, M., and Spielvogel, S.: Analyzing the impact of soil properties on glyphosate degradation, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-6667,, 2020

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