Herbicides Persistence in Rice Paddy Water in Southern Brazil
Deterministic and probabilistic risk analyses were carried out for seven hydrographic basins in the State of Santa Catarina (Brazil), where irrigated rice is cultivated. Monitoring studies conducted in 1998/1999 and 1999/2000 had found that the herbicide quinclorac was the most frequently detected agrochemical residue, occurring in five of the seven hydrographic basins. In order to assess the ecological risk posed by quinclorac, median lethal concentration (LC(50)) and median effective concentration (EC(50)) data were obtained for quinclorac in toxicity tests with organisms routinely used in Brazil for this purpose. Experiments were carried out on microcosms associated with the irrigated rice crop to evaluate the effects of the herbicide on the natural plankton community. The deterministic analyses showed that the risk presented by the herbicide residues to the phytoplankton require mitigating action, while the probabilistic analysis revealed that the levels of risk for the aquatic community were acceptable. Field experiments showed that the recommended application concentration of the product directly affects phytoplankton and has an indirect, short-term effect on the zooplankton community.