Journal of Soils and Sediments

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 566–578 | Cite as

Soil organic amendments: impacts on sorption of organophosphate pesticides on an alluvial soil

  • Omkar D. Gaonkar
  • Indumathi M. NambiEmail author
  • Suresh Kumar Govindarajan
Soils, Sec 1 • Soil Organic Matter Dynamics and Nutrient Cycling • Research Article



Soil organic carbon enrichment by addition of organic amendments (OAs) is a common agricultural and gardening practice. Such amendments can cause ambiguous environmental effects; it could enhance the sorption of pesticides by increasing soil organic carbon content, and on the contrary, dissolved organic matter (DOM) from OAs could facilitate their leaching. This study evaluated the influence of OAs, mixed waste compost, and dried goat organic manure on the sorption of organophosphates, dichlorvos, and chlorpyrifos.

Materials and methods

Soil (15 cm depth) was collected from an agricultural field and stored. Dissolved organic matter (DOM) extracted from the amendments and the amended soils was characterized by fluorescence spectroscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). Initially, studies were carried out to evaluate the effect of DOM from organic amendments (OA-DOM) and dissolved humic acids (HAs) as model DOM on the sorption of selected pesticides. In the later part, OAs (2.5 and 5% w/w) were added to the soil, and sorption experiments were carried out using amended soil to understand the combined effects of insoluble and soluble organic carbon fraction. As dichlorvos sorption was found to be very low, desorption experiments were conducted only for chlorpyrifos using 0.01 M CaCl2 and DOM solutions.

Results and discussion

The spectroscopic characterization of OA-DOM revealed that it mainly contained large amounts of highly humified and aromatic material. OA-DOM and HAs had a similar effect on pesticide sorption leading to a slight but not significant increase in dichlorvos sorption while a substantial reduction in chlorpyrifos sorption was observed. Surface tension analysis highlighted that OA-DOM and HAs might have caused greater solubilization of chlorpyrifos, thus reducing sorption. Further, it also promoted greater desorption of adsorbed chlorpyrifos. These results seem to be related to the humified and aromatic nature of OA-DOM and HAs, determining the interactions between hydrophobic chlorpyrifos and DOM. On the contrary, the addition of OAs to soil promoted greater chlorpyrifos and dichlorvos sorption, but a clear correlation between increase in soil organic carbon and pesticide sorption could not be established.


The study highlighted that the net effect of OA application was an increase in pesticide sorption that depended on the nature of DOM and pesticide properties. The interactions of hydrophobic chlorpyrifos with DOM can lead to a significant reduction in sorption to such an extent that the sorption in the presence of substantial DOM concentration can be less than the sorption without it.


Dissolved organic matter (DOM) Organic amendments (OAs) Organophosphates Pesticide sorption 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interest.

Supplementary material

11368_2018_2080_MOESM1_ESM.docx (542 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 542 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology MadrasChennaiIndia
  2. 2.Department of Ocean EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology MadrasChennaiIndia

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