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21 May 2020 Glyphosate: Environmental Fate and Impact
Stephen O. Duke
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Glyphosate is the most used herbicide worldwide, which has contributed to concerns about its environmental impact. Compared with most other herbicides, glyphosate has a half-life in soil and water that is relatively short (averaging about 30 d in temperate climates), mostly due to microbial degradation. Its primary microbial product, aminomethylphosphonic acid, is slightly more persistent than glyphosate. In soil, glyphosate is virtually biologically inactive due to its strong binding to soil components. Glyphosate does not bioaccumulate in organisms, largely due to its high water solubility. Glyphosate-resistant crops have greatly facilitated reduced-tillage agriculture, thereby reducing soil loss, soil compaction, carbon dioxide emissions, and fossil fuel use. Agricultural economists have projected that loss of glyphosate would result in increased cropping area, some gained by deforestation, and an increase in environmental impact quotient of weed management. Some drift doses of glyphosate to non-target plants can cause increased plant growth (hormesis) and/or increased susceptibility to plant pathogens, although these non-target effects are not well documented. The preponderance of evidence confirms that glyphosate does not harm plants by interfering with mineral nutrition and that it has no agriculturally significant effects on soil microbiota. Glyphosate has a lower environmental impact quotient than most synthetic herbicide alternatives.

© Weed Science Society of America 2020. This is a work of the U.S. Government and is not subject to copyright protection in the United States.
Stephen O. Duke "Glyphosate: Environmental Fate and Impact," Weed Science 68(3), 201-207, (21 May 2020).
Received: 26 April 2019; Accepted: 30 April 2019; Published: 21 May 2020
Aminomethylphosphonic acid
environmental fate
environmental impact
Glyphosate-resistant crops
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