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Ecotoxicological information

Toxicity to terrestrial plants

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toxicity to terrestrial plants: long-term
Data waiving:
other justification
Justification for data waiving:
toxicity to terrestrial plants: long-term
Type of information:
experimental study
Adequacy of study:
supporting study
2 (reliable with restrictions)
Rationale for reliability incl. deficiencies:
study well documented, meets generally accepted scientific principles, acceptable for assessment
equivalent or similar to guideline
EPA OPPTS 850.4230 (Early Seedling Growth Toxicity Test)
Principles of method if other than guideline:
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of intermediate to high rates of granulated mineral or organomineral fertilizers on onion N uptake, nutrient balance, root growth and water influx. Onions were grown on four natural soils with different concentrations of ammonium sulfate applied. Test duration was 84 days.
GLP compliance:
not specified
Analytical monitoring:
Details on preparation and application of test substrate:
Four Quebec soils (specified in table below) were used in this study. Soils were air dried, sieved to 2-mm aggregate size, moistered to 80% of water-holding capacity, transferred to plastic pots (3.2L volume) in amounts of 3.6 - 4.4 kg, depending on bulk density.
Seeds of onion were sown in flats containing moist vermiculate. On the 14th day, four uniform seedlings were transplanted to each pot. To prevent P, K and Mg deficiency, 40 mg P * kg-1 as Ca(H2PO4)2, 90 mg K*kg-1 as K2SO4, and 40mg Mg*kg-1 were mixed with the soils. Hydrated lime was added to the Beaurivage and the St. Jude soils to raise the pH to near 6.5.
Humic peat, containing 600 g H2O * kg-1 wet peat and 13.6 g total N * kg-1 on a dry-weight basis, was ammoniated with 50 g NH3 as ammonia liquor * kg-1 of peat (i.e., 41.2 g NH3-N * kg-1) on a dry weigh basis and pelleted to 2mm granules. Peat-ammonium sulfate pellets were made of the same peat as described above and reagend-grade AS particles of < 1mm diameter. The fertilizers were mixed with soils 4 days before the seedlings were transplanted.
Allium cepa
Plant group:
Monocotyledonae (monocots)
Details on test organisms:
- Common name: Common onion
- Plant family: Alliaceae
- Variety: Norstar 210B
Test type:
early seedling growth toxicity test
Study type:
laboratory study
Substrate type:
natural soil
4 types
Limit test:
Total exposure duration:
84 d
Test temperature:
18 - 22 °C
5.0 - 6.6
65% relative humidity
Details on test conditions:
- Test container (type, material, size): plastic pots (3.2 L)
- Amount of soil: 3.6-4.4 kg
- Method of seeding: Seeds of onion were sown in flats containing moist vermiculite.
- No. of plants (retained after thinning): 4 per pot
- No. of replicates per treatment group: 3
- No. of replicates per control: 3

- Photoperiod: 16:8 light:dark
- Light source: incandescent and coolwhite fluorescent lamps
- Light intensity and quality: 300 µE/m²/s photon flux density at plant height
- Relative humidity (%): 65 %

EFFECT PARAMETERS MEASURED (with observation intervals if applicable) : N uptake, root length, water uptake, nutrient balance, dry matter yield
Nominal and measured concentrations:
Nominal: 0 (control), 133, 266, 399, and 532 mg N per kg soil
Reference substance (positive control):
Allium cepa
84 d
Dose descriptor:
Effect conc.:
513.3 mg/kg soil dw
Nominal / measured:
Conc. based on:
other: NH4
Basis for effect:
other: yield (dry weight)
Key result
Allium cepa
84 d
Dose descriptor:
Effect conc.:
342 mg/kg soil dw
Nominal / measured:
Conc. based on:
other: NH4
Basis for effect:
other: yield (dry weight)
Details on results:
Yield (dry weight per pot) was greatest for 133 mg N per kg soil. An inhibitory effect was found at 399 and 532 mg N per kg soil (corresponding to 513.3 and 685.1 mg NH4 / kg soil), except for the sandy soil where only the 532 mg N per kg soil ammonium sulfate was inhibitory.
Results with reference substance (positive control):
No positive control was included.
Validity criteria fulfilled:
not applicable
In a 84 d seedling growth toxicity test, seeds of onion (Allium cepa) were grown in 4 different natural soils amended with ammonium sulphate. An inhibitory effect on yield (dry weight) was found at 399 and 532 mg N/kg soil dw (corresponding to 513.3 and 685.1 mg NH4/kg soil), and a NOEC of 299 mg N/kg soil dw (nominal) can be derived, which corresponds to a 84 d NOEC of 342 mg NH4/kg soil dw (nominal) for ammonium.

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