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Toxicity to terrestrial plants

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The effect of ammonium sulfate solution on seed germination was studied for Avena sterilis spp macrocarpa Mo, in a 21 day test (Gonzalez Ponce and Salas, 1989). Seeds were wrapped with filter paper which was wetted with ammonium sulfate-solutions of 100 to 5000 mg/l. No significant increase in germination was found up to 2500 mg/l, compared with the control. An inhibitory effect was found at 5000 mg/l ammonium sulfate (=5980 mg/l Ammonium hydrogencarbonate) probably caused by a salt effect.

 

The effect of ammonium sulfate addition on the growth of the onion Allium cepa L. has been studied under laboratory conditions in 4 Canadian soils, in the presence of lime to raise the soil pH to approximately 6.5 (Abbés et al., 1995). After 84 days in a growth chamber, immature plants were harvested and fresh and dry weight of all plant parts were determined. Yield was greatest for 626 ammonium sulphate (= 749 mg ammonium hydrogencarbonate) / kg soil (calculated from 133 mg N / kg soil). An inhibitory effect was found at 1880 and 2506 ammonium sulphate (= 2250 and 3000 mg ammonium hydrogencarbonate) / kg soil (calculated from 399 and 532 mg N / kg soil), except for the sandy soil where only 2506 mg ammonium sulfate (=3000 Ammonium hydrogencarbonate) / kg soil was inhibitory. In general such observations could be explained by salt effects.

 

14 day old pinto bean plants (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) exposed to 26 mg/m3 ammonium sulfate aerosol for up to 320 hours (ca. 13 days) in an environmental growth chamber showed no changes in plant biomass or leaf area. However, visible foliar injury occurred, and both abaxial and adaxial leaf resistances were decreased from control values (Gmur, Evans and Cunningham, 1983). The ammonium sulfate application rate is stated to be about 2 orders of magnitude above ambient episode concentration.

 

The 6 year effect of ammonium sulfate spread as a solid fertilizer was investigated in a stand of trees (Picea abies, 12 years old at the beginning of the test) in southern Sweden (Rosengren-Brinck and Nihlgard, 1995). Spreading at 471 kg ammonium sulfate (= 564 kg Ammonium hydrogencarbonate, calculated from 100 kg N) per ha per year affected resistance to drought, which was evident in a reduction in the flushing of new shoots.