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The Effects of Hedges on Spray Deposition and on the Biological Impact of Pesticide Spray Drift

Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety,Volume 27, Issue 3, Pages 281-293


Two series of drift deposition measurements were carried out at different wind speeds using sodium fluorescein as a tracer dye sprayed over a grass field 6 m upwind of a hedge. Efficient receptors were placed below and above hedge height (1.6 m) between 1 and 20 m downwind from the sprayed area. Receptors below hedge height reflected a sudden decrease in deposition immediately behind the hedge, followed by a gradual increase again up to 15 m, i.e., nine times the height of the hedge. The sheltering effect of a hedge from the biological impact of spray drift was studied by bioassays using tomato and Lychnis flos-cuculi plants for the herbicide MCPA and young Pieris brassicae larvae for the insecticide cypermethrin. These demonstrated that the protection afforded to sensitive species in strong winds may be quite limited, and severe damage may be inflicted over considerable distances. In intermediate cases, a protected zone is followed by a zone of further significant damage before drift depositions cease to have further effect. In some cases, the sheltered zone may extend to a distance where drift deposition, even in the absence of a hedge, has minimal effect.

Author(s): Davis, BNK, Brown, MJ, Frost, AJ, Yates, TJ, Plant, RA

Journal: Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety,Volume 27, Issue 3, Pages 281-293

Year: 1994