Next Article in Journal
Algorithmic Perspectives of Network Transitive Reduction Problems and their Applications to Synthesis and Analysis of Biological Networks
Previous Article in Journal
Exploiting a Reference Genome in Terms of Duplications: The Network of Paralogs and Single Copy Genes in Arabidopsis thaliana
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

Root-Zone Glyphosate Exposure Adversely Affects Two Ditch Species

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN 38152, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Biology 2013, 2(4), 1488-1496;
Received: 11 September 2013 / Revised: 6 December 2013 / Accepted: 10 December 2013 / Published: 18 December 2013
PDF [136 KB, uploaded 18 December 2013]


Glyphosate, one of the most applied herbicides globally, has been extensively studied for its effects on non-target organisms. In the field, following precipitation, glyphosate runs off into agricultural ditches where it infiltrates into the soil and thus may encounter the roots of vegetation. These edge-of-field ditches share many characteristics with wetlands, including the ability to reduce loads of anthropogenic chemicals through uptake, transformation, and retention. Different species within the ditches may have a differential sensitivity to exposure of the root zone to glyphosate, contributing to patterns of abundance of ruderal species. The present laboratory experiment investigated whether two species commonly found in agricultural ditches in southcentral United States were affected by root zone glyphosate in a dose-dependent manner, with the objective of identifying a sublethal concentration threshold. The root zone of individuals of Polygonum hydropiperoides and Panicum hemitomon were exposed to four concentrations of glyphosate. Leaf chlorophyll content was measured, and the ratio of aboveground biomass to belowground biomass and survival were quantified. The findings from this study showed that root zone glyphosate exposure negatively affected both species including dose-dependent reductions in chlorophyll content. P. hydropiperdoides showed the greatest negative response, with decreased belowground biomass allocation and total mortality at the highest concentrations tested. View Full-Text
Keywords: agricultural runoff; glyphosate; drainage ditches; phytotoxicity; non-target species; wetland plants agricultural runoff; glyphosate; drainage ditches; phytotoxicity; non-target species; wetland plants

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Saunders, L.E.; Koontz, M.B.; Pezeshki, R. Root-Zone Glyphosate Exposure Adversely Affects Two Ditch Species. Biology 2013, 2, 1488-1496.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Biology EISSN 2079-7737 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top