Numerous turf fungicides were tested under various conditions for possible deleterious effects upon the earthworm Eisenla foetida. Earthworms treated by immersion for one minute in 0.1% solutions of 10 different fungicides died insignificant numbers after benomyl and thiophanate methyl treatments. After 1% fungicide treatments, there was significant mortality from benomyl, ethazole, Kromad, and thiophanate methyl fungicides. With 2% fungicide solutions, significant numbers died after benomyl, cadmium succinate, ethazole, thiophanate methyl, and thiram treatments. Earthworms fed bermudagrass clippings treated with 10 different fungicides showed a significant decrease in longevity from clippings treated with benomyl, dinocap, ethazole, and thiophanate methyl. Earthworms reared for 84 days in soil treated with 15 different turf fungicides showed a significant decrease in longevity from soil treated with aniyaline, benomyl, chlorothalonil, Duoson, ethazole, fenaminosulf, Kromad, mancozeb, PCNB, thiabendazole, thiophanate methyl, and thiram. Cadmium succinate, dinocap, and RP 26019 did not cause a decrease in longevity. There was no reproduction by worms in soil treated with Duosan, PCNB, thiophanate methyl, and thiram, and only trace amounts in soil treated with chlorothalonil, ethazole, and Kromad. The toxicity of benomyl, thiabendazole, and thiophanate methyl to earthworms was confirmed in the present study, and additional fungicides used for turf disease control were also found to cause significant amounts of mortality.
Roark, J. H. and Dale, J. L.
"Effect of Turf Fungicides on Earthworms,"
Journal of the Arkansas Academy of Science: Vol. 33
, Article 25.
Available at: http://scholarworks.uark.edu/jaas/vol33/iss1/25