Fungicides often see prevalent usage in agriculture for crops that are at risk of developing fungal related diseases that need treatment in order to mitigate crop death and thus maximize crop yield in farms. One example is soybean rust, which refers to two different fungi, affecting soybeans eventually leading to its death after some time. As a staple of commercial crops around the world, finding a way to manage these fungis were imperative, and so fungicides were made as a preventative and a treatment for the fungus. Crop yeild losses could reach up to 80% due to soybean rust, bearing huge economic damages for the farms using soybean crops.
The usage of these fungicides, however, saw some drawbacks for the environment around the farms, such as the soil, ground water, or other aquatic systems were found to have varying levels of fungicides existing in them, and ecological consequences rose in wildlife and these natural systems in general through several disturbances. This included higher wildlife mortality, plant degradation, less productivity in aquatic systems, and more.
While the risks of using these fungicides were clear, it was hard for these farms to just stop using them as they relied on them to preserve their crops. This is where the topic of the linked article can help. It goes over phytoremediation, which is where plant species can be employed to clear up some toxic compounds, this including fungicides. Clearing water of toxic and harmful waste can be both expensive and time consuming, but the phytoremediation technique offers a cheaper, sustainable alternative for clearing toxic compounds. The research article itself shows the effectiveness of five plant species in removing two fungicides from water in a labratory test. The results showed varied conclusions, but did prove that some plant species, such as duckweeds, proved useful in phytoremediation.
With fungicides seeing wide usage for agriculture, it is necessary to find a way to at least elimiate some risk from these toxic chemicals posing a danger to the surroundign environment, and using plants to clean up water toxicity can definitely prove to be useful, although a lot more research is needed for efficacy and creating other strategies.