Persistence in earthworms and potential hazards to birds of soil applied DDT, dieldrin, and heptachlor

Journal of Applied Ecology
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Abstract

(1) DDT, dieldrin, and heptachlor were each applied to separate replicate plots in a hay field at 0.6, 2.2, or 9.0 kg/ha. For 11 yr thereafter, soil and earthworms were analysed for residues. (2) The average ratios of residues in earthworms (dry weight) to residues in soil (dry weight) were: total DDT, 5; dieldrin, 8; and heptachlor epoxide, 10. The average time for the initial residues in soil to be reduced by 50% were: total DDT, 3.2 yr; dieldrin, 5.1 yr; and heptachlor epoxide, 3.2 yr. The corresponding times for residues in earthworms were: total DDT, 3.2 yr; dieldrin, 2.6 yr; and heptachlor epoxide, 3.0 yr. (3) DDE was most persistent, and in plots treated at 9.0 kg/ha its concentration remained constant at about 0.4 ppm in soil and about 7 ppm in earthworms. (4) When applied at 9.0 kg/ha, DDT accumulated in earthworms to concentrations (32 ppm) which laboratory studies have shown to be hazardous to some sensitive bird species. When heptachlor was applied at 2.2 or 9.0 kg/ha, heptachlor epoxide in earthworms reached concentrations (8 ppm) potentially hazardous to woodcock. Dieldrin remained at potentially hazardous concentrations (8 ppm) for 3 yr in plots treated with 2.2 kg/ha and for 11 yr in plots treated with 9.0 kg/ha.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Persistence in earthworms and potential hazards to birds of soil applied DDT, dieldrin, and heptachlor
Series title Journal of Applied Ecology
Volume 17
Issue 2
Year Published 1980
Language English
Contributing office(s) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description 295-307
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Journal of Applied Ecology
First page 295
Last page 307