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Science of The Total Environment
Volume 821, 2022, 153371

Straw return in paddy field alters photodegradation of organic contaminants by changing the quantity rather than the quality of water-soluble soil organic matter

Dongming Wua, Min Lib, Ling Dub, Dong Renb,c, Junjian Wangd

Institute of Environment and Plant Protection, Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences, Haikou 571101, China.


Straw return, an important agricultural management practice, is worldwide adopted to enhance soil carbon sequestration and soil fertility. Although water-soluble soil organic matter (WSOM) in paddy field is known to affect the photodegradation of organic contaminants, how straw return regulates the photosensitization of WSOM by changing its properties remain unclear. Here, we determined the temporal variations in the content, chemical characteristics, and photosensitizing ability of WSOM after wheat straw return in a wheat-rice rotation system using optical spectroscopy and steady-state photodegradation tests. After straw return, the WSOM content first increased to a maximum and then gradually decreased to pre-return level at day 90. Nevertheless, the relative abundance of humic-like components in WSOM was not shifted by straw return, and protein-like component in WSOM just showed a slight decrease at day 45. All the WSOM samples inhibited sulfamethoxazole (SMX) photodegradation by light filtering, reactive species quenching and other mechanisms, while promoted diuron (DIU) degradation via reacting with •OH, 1O2 and excited triplet WSOM. The photodegradation of SMX and DIU was little affected by straw return changing WSOM composition and photochemical activity. However, straw return could decelerate SMX and DIU photodegradation by elevating WSOM content in a relatively short-term. This study emphasizes that straw return may reduce the photodegradation of organic contaminants by increasing WSOM concentration instead of altering WSOM chemical characteristics.

Keywords: Straw return, Dissolved organic matter, Organic contaminants, Photodegradation, Paddy field.

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