Full TGIF Record # 19263
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Author(s):Potter, Daniel A.; Buxton, Margaret C.; Redmond, Carl T.; Patterson, Cary; Powell, A. J.
Title:Pesticide effects on earthworms and thatch breakdown in Kentucky bluegrass turf
Source:Kentucky Turfgrass Research. 1990, p. 39.
Publishing Information:Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service
Series:Progress Report 328
Keywords:TIC Keywords: Poa pratensis; Earthworms; Pesticides; Thatch decomposition; Non-target effects
Abstract/Contents:Reviews results of 1987-88 research on the effects of earthworms on thatch decomposition and on effects of pesticides on earthworm populations. Earthworms were found to incorporate large amounts of mineral soil into the thatch matrix, a sort of natural topdressing. Earthworms also break apart thatch and help to mix the organic matter into the soil, and their activity stimulates microbial decomposition. A single application with the fungicide benomyl (Benlate), or with the insecticides ethoprop (Mocap), carbaryl (Sevin), or bendiocarb (Turcam) at label rates reduced earthworm populations by 60 to 90%, with effects lasting for at least 20 weeks. These compounds also significantly reduced the rate at which worms incorporated mineral soil into thatch. Other insecticides, specifically diazinon (Diazinon), isofenphos (Oftanol), trichlorfon (Dylox, Proxol), chlorpyrifos (Dursban), and isazophos (Triumph), caused less severe, but significant earthworm mortality. Most of the fungicides, and all of the turfgrass herbicides tested did not significantly harm earthworm populations. Given the importance of earthworms in aerifying and enriching the soil, in enhancing water infiltration, and in breaking down thatch, turfgrass managers should avoid unnecessary pesticide applications, and select those pesticides most compatible with earthworm populations.
See Also:Other items relating to: WORMS
ASA/CSSA/SSSA Citation (Crop Science-Like - may be incomplete):
Potter, D. A., M. C. Buxton, C. T. Redmond, C. Patterson, and A. J. Powell. 1990. Pesticide effects on earthworms and thatch breakdown in Kentucky bluegrass turf. KY. Turfgrass Res. p. 39.
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