A Study on the Impact of Insecticide Use on Soil Microbes

Malik Hooper, Ruth Daniel and Elford Liverpool

• URC22 Abstract • 

Published: May 16, 2022Book of Abstracts of the 4th Undergraduate Research Conference. University of Guyana, Office for Undergraduate Research.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.52377/ZQHI1884

Malik Hooper ✉️ Ruth Daniel, Elford Liverpool Department of Biology. Faculty of Natural Sciences. University of Guyana-Turkeyen Campus. Greater Georgetown, Guyana.

Pest attack on food crops has become a significant issue because it threatens sustainable food production. Both large-scale and small-scale farmers often resort to the use of chemicals via insecticides as a method of controlling these pests. This research, which was conducted in South Ruimveldt, Georgetown, Guyana, aimed to examine the side effects of the use of three popular insecticides on microbial biomass below the plants where insecticides were applied, as opposed to the biomass found in the soil where there was no insecticide application. Soil microbial biomass is an important indicator of the health of the soil and aids in nutrient wto estimate. The fumigation-extraction method was used to estimate the microbial biomass present in the 12 soil samples. There were four groups, inclusive of the control. Each group was tested in triplicates. The results disclosed that the use of lambda-cyhalothrin, alphacypermethrin and acetamiprid, the active ingredients found in these popular insecticides, all reduced the microbial biomass in the soil by 12.2%, 79.7% and 55.2% respectively, as some microbial processes were inhibited. These results suggest that continuous use of insecticides on crops may affect the growth of crops, however further research is needed to determine which microbes are affected by these insecticides and how the growth of crops is affected.


Keywords: Microbial biomass, Fumigation-extraction method, Insecticides, Lambda-cyhalothrin, Alphacypermethrin, Acetamiprid, Agriculture

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The 4th Undergraduate Research Conference (URC22) was hosted by the University of Guyana’s Office for Undergraduate Research on May 18-20, 2022.