Year of Publication

2023

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering (MSBiosyAgE)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Agriculture; Engineering

Department/School/Program

Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Tiffany L. Messer

Abstract

Nanotechnology has several applications in the agricultural industry, as the small size of nanoparticles and high reactivity enables targeted delivery of pesticides and fertilizers to the intended crop. Copper-based nanopesticides such as Kocide, are proposed as a more efficient method for targeted pest control. Despite the potential benefits of nanopesticides, little is known regarding the transport and implications of nanopesticides under long-term inundation conditions often found in downstream wetlands. Specifically, the impact of nanopesticides on microbial nitrogen processes in wetland environments remains unknown. Therefore, this thesis explores the impact of nanopesticides, specifically Kocide, on microbial nitrogen cycles in agricultural and wetland soils found in Central Kentucky. Implications to the nitrogen cycle following Kocide exposure were assessed using soil microcosms.  The study assessed nitrification, denitrification, runoff, and greenhouse gas production processes following the addition of Kocide at three application rates (1X, 5X, 15X) and monitored over 10 weeks within the same soil system.  Further, long-term effects to the nitrogen cycle were also assessed with recurring Kocide enrichments.  Significant differences were observed between both application rates and short-term incubation sampling times for both nitrification and denitrification at different levels (α = 0.05). General trends indicated inhibited nitrogen processes over the long term. Findings provide guidance for application methods for current producers and assessment for fate and transport of these pesticides for environmental conservationists and regulatory agencies.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/etd.2023.010

Funding Information

This study was supported by the Nanotechnology for Agricultural and Food Systems accession no. 1025426 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture between 2021 and 2022.

This study was supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1922694 in 2022.

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