Thiamethoxam dynamics in pepper plants: Deciphering deposition and dissipation pattern across diverse planting modes and regions

To reduce the application dosage of thiamethoxam (TMX), we investigated the deposition and dissipation patterns in a pepper-planted ecosystem under different planting modes across four regions in China, namely Hainan (HN), Zhejiang (ZJ), Anhui (AH) and Hebei (HB). This study focused on the deposition and dissipation of TMX at concentrations of 63.00, 47.25, 31.50, 23.63 and 15.75 g As the application dose increased, the deposition amount of TMX initially increased in the plants and cultivated soil, showing obvious geographic differences in four cultivation areas. Surprisingly, the initial amount of TMX deposited the pepper-cultivated greenhouse of ZJ and AH was 1.1-2.1-fold and 1.0-3.6-fold higher than that in the open field system at the same application dose, respectively. In pepper leaves, stems, fruits and soil, the dissipation exhibited rapid growth and then slowed. However, the residual concentration showed an increasing trend, followed by a subsequent decrease in the pepper roots. In different planting regions, the dissipation rate of TMX followed the order HN > ZJ > AH > HB in pepper plants and cultivated soil. In comparison to the open field, the total TMX retention rate in greenhouse was higher, indicating overall greater persistence in the greenhouse conditions. These findings reveal the deposition and dissipation characteristics of TMX within the pepper-field ecosystem, offering a significant contribution to the risk assessment of pesticides.