Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2014KY227B

Effects of atrazine and metolachlor on willow in riparian zones along the Kentucky River

Institute: Kentucky
Year Established: 2014 Start Date: 2014-03-01 End Date: 2015-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $5,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $10,008

Principal Investigators: Kristine Hopfensperger, David Thompson

Abstract: To address the effect herbicides may have on native willows we propose a combined field and laboratory approach. We will collect soil, water, and leaf tissue samples (from dominant trees such as sycamore and any willows found) from tributaries and along the main stem of the Kentucky River. A quantitative analysis of willow coverage will be made at each sample location and we will use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to determine the amount of land cover in agricultural production surrounding our field sample sites. Samples will be analyzed for atrazine and metolachlor concentrations. We will also perform a greenhouse study to investigate effects of atrazine and metolachlor on growth of willow cuttings. We will look for trends in historical atrazine concentrations and hydrologic data from the Kentucky River watershed. We hypothesize that higher atrazine and metolachlor concentrations will be found in the soil and water samples with greater upstream agricultural land cover. In addition, we hypothesize that atrazine and metolachlor will have a negative effect on willow growth and that there will be lower willow coverage in field areas with higher atrazine and metolachlor concentrations.