Mapping Geospatial Processes Affecting the Environmental Fate of Agricultural Pesticides in Africa.
Hendriks CMJ., Gibson HS., Trett A., Python A., Weiss DJ., Vrieling A., Coleman M., Gething PW., Hancock PA., Moyes CL.
The application of agricultural pesticides in Africa can have negative effects on human health and the environment. The aim of this study was to identify African environments that are vulnerable to the accumulation of pesticides by mapping geospatial processes affecting pesticide fate. The study modelled processes associated with the environmental fate of agricultural pesticides using publicly available geospatial datasets. Key geospatial processes affecting the environmental fate of agricultural pesticides were selected after a review of pesticide fate models and maps for leaching, surface runoff, sedimentation, soil storage and filtering capacity, and volatilization were created. The potential and limitations of these maps are discussed. We then compiled a database of studies that measured pesticide residues in Africa. The database contains 10,076 observations, but only a limited number of observations remained when a standard dataset for one compound was extracted for validation. Despite the need for more in-situ data on pesticide residues and application, this study provides a first spatial overview of key processes affecting pesticide fate that can be used to identify areas potentially vulnerable to pesticide accumulation.