The use of fertilizers in greenhouse-grown crops can pose a threat to groundwater quality and, consequently, to human beings and subterranean ecosystem, where intensive farming produces pollutants leaching. Albenga plain (Liguria, Italy) is an alluvial area of about 45km2 historically devoted to farming. Recently the crops have evolved to greenhouses horticulture and floriculture production. In the area high levels of nitrates in groundwater have been detected. Lysimeters with three types of reconstituted soils (loamy sand, sandy clay loam and sandy loam) collected from different areas of Albenga plain were used in this study to evaluate the leaching loss of nitrate (NO3-) over a period of 12weeks. Leaf lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) was selected as a representative green-grown crop. Each of the soil samples was treated with a slow release fertilizer, simulating the real fertilizing strategy of the tillage. In order to estimate the potential risk for aquifers as well as for organisms exposed via pore water, nitrate concentrations in groundwater were evaluated by applying a simplified attenuation model to the experimental data. Results were refined and extended from comparison of single effects and exposure values (Tier I level) up to the evaluation of probabilistic distributions of exposure and related effects (Tier II, III IV levels). HHRA suggested HI >1 and about 20% probability of exceeding RfD for all the greenhouses, regardless of the soil. ERA suggested HQ>100 for all the greenhouses; 93% probability of PNEC exceedance for greenhouses containing sand clay loam. The probability of exceeding LC50 for 5% of the species was about 40% and the probability corresponding to DBQ of DEC/EC50>0.001 was >90% for all the greenhouses. The significantly high risk, related to the detected nitrate leaching loss, can be attributed to excessive and inappropriate fertigation strategies.

Probabilistic risk assessment of nitrate groundwater contamination from greenhouses in Albenga plain (Liguria, Italy) using lysimeters.

Ombretta Paladino;
2018

Abstract

The use of fertilizers in greenhouse-grown crops can pose a threat to groundwater quality and, consequently, to human beings and subterranean ecosystem, where intensive farming produces pollutants leaching. Albenga plain (Liguria, Italy) is an alluvial area of about 45km2 historically devoted to farming. Recently the crops have evolved to greenhouses horticulture and floriculture production. In the area high levels of nitrates in groundwater have been detected. Lysimeters with three types of reconstituted soils (loamy sand, sandy clay loam and sandy loam) collected from different areas of Albenga plain were used in this study to evaluate the leaching loss of nitrate (NO3-) over a period of 12weeks. Leaf lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) was selected as a representative green-grown crop. Each of the soil samples was treated with a slow release fertilizer, simulating the real fertilizing strategy of the tillage. In order to estimate the potential risk for aquifers as well as for organisms exposed via pore water, nitrate concentrations in groundwater were evaluated by applying a simplified attenuation model to the experimental data. Results were refined and extended from comparison of single effects and exposure values (Tier I level) up to the evaluation of probabilistic distributions of exposure and related effects (Tier II, III IV levels). HHRA suggested HI >1 and about 20% probability of exceeding RfD for all the greenhouses, regardless of the soil. ERA suggested HQ>100 for all the greenhouses; 93% probability of PNEC exceedance for greenhouses containing sand clay loam. The probability of exceeding LC50 for 5% of the species was about 40% and the probability corresponding to DBQ of DEC/EC50>0.001 was >90% for all the greenhouses. The significantly high risk, related to the detected nitrate leaching loss, can be attributed to excessive and inappropriate fertigation strategies.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11567/902214
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