Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2020ND076B

Does wetland restoration affect the accumulation of glyphosate?

Institute: North Dakota
Year Established: 2020 Start Date: 2020-02-29 End Date: 2021-02-27
Total Federal Funds: $2,160 Total Non-Federal Funds: $4,320

Principal Investigators: Jon Sweetman

Abstract: Glyphosate is the most commonly used herbicide in the United States with an estimated use of 1.35 million metric tons in 2017. It is easily transported into aquatic ecosystems via spray drift or runoff. The Prairie Potholes located in North Dakota are particularly susceptible to glyphosate exposure as application is heaviest in the Midwest, and these wetlands are located within agricultural catchments. Glyphosate typically dissipates in water and sorbs to sediment, or biodegrades making it biologically unavailable for organisms. However, it can accumulate in aquatic ecosystems where benthic sediments serve as chemical sinks. Subsequently, saturation can occur, re-releasing glyphosate residues into the water column and exposing wetland biota to potential harmful concentrations. Wetland restoration is a common conservation practice to rehabilitate ecosystem loss or degradation. Little is known about how restoration may impact herbicide accumulation as much focus has remained on assessing biological recovery.