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Glyphosate retention in grassland riparian areas is reduced by the invasion of exotic trees

Giaccio GCM1, P Laterra2, VC Aparicio3, JL Costa3

1 Chacra Experimental Integrada Barrow. INTA. CC 50. (B7500) Tres Arroyos. Argentina.
2 Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias, UNMDP - EEA INTA Balcarce. CONICET. CC 276. (B7620) Balcarce. Argentina.
3 EEA INTA Balcarce. CC 276. (7620) Balcarce. Argentina.

Address correspondence to: Ing. Agr. (M.Sc.) Gustavo Carlos Maria Giaccio, Fax / Phone 054-2983-431081, e-mail:

Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany 2016, 85(all), 108-116.


In this study, we examined some aspects regarding the effect of willow trees (Salix fragilis L.) invasion of grassland riparian environments in the Argentinean Pampas on the runoff reduction, sedimentation and glyphosate retention in the riparian vegetation strip (RVS). To assess the influence of willows on the filtering mechanisms, we performed runoff simulation experiments in plots of 1.5 x 2.5 m, in coastal environments characterized by the presence of willows or the lack of trees. Despite the short length of the experimental plots, the retention of glyphosate in the controls, with no trees, was higher and reached almost 74%. Nevertheless, sediment retention did not differ significantly between the tree areas and the grassy controls. The runoff reduction in plots with willows was of 63%. The presence of willow trees significantly altered the measured biophysical properties, such as soil moisture and aboveground biomass, compared to areas without trees. Analysis of partial correlations for environments with and without trees showed that the reduction in runoff volume increased significantly with the soil sand content and the groundwater table depth, while it decreased with bulk density, soil moisture and the riparian slope. Sediment retention increased significantly with aboveground biomass, litter and root biomass; and decreased with the riparian slope. In turn, glyphosate retention increased significantly with sediment retention and decreased with the riparian slope and litter biomass. The mechanisms involving the effect of willows could not be well explained. Due to the increased intensification of agriculture, treeless RVS are important to reduce glyphosate concentration in streams and their sinks. Nevertheless, the presence of trees is also important in the context of agroecosystems and agricultural landscapes, as they contribute to reduce the runoff flow.


Cite This Article

GCM, G., Laterra, P., Aparicio, V., Costa, J. (2016). Glyphosate retention in grassland riparian areas is reduced by the invasion of exotic trees. Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany, 85(all), 108–116.

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