Bioavailability of atrazine to soil microbes in the presence of the earthworm Lumbricus terrestrius (L)

A A Meharg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Experiments were conducted to investigate the interactions between an earthworm species (Lumbricus terrestrius) and soil microflora with respect to the bioavailability and mineralisation of C-14 ring-labelled atrazine. Presence of earthworms had no affect on atrazine in soil solution (assayed by soil centrifugation). This soil solution pool was highly time dependent, decreasing considerably as the experiment proceeded. KCl- extractable label was, however, affected by the presence of earthworms, with this pool initially increasing in the presence of the worms. This pool was also highly time-dependent although, the pattern of this dependence did not follow that for label in soil solution. Mineralisation of the atrazine closely followed the KCl exchangeable pool and not that of the soil solution pool. However, label sorbed to the surface of the worms was closely correlated to the soil solution pool. Mineralisation in the presence of earthworms was double that of the controls. By the end of the experiment 6% of added radioactivity was present in the earthworm biomass. Copyright (C) 1996 Elsevier Science Ltd

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-559
Number of pages5
JournalSoil Biology and Biochemistry
Issue number4-5
Publication statusPublished - 1996




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