Effects of pesticides on community structure and ecosystem functions in agricultural streams of three biogeographical regions in Europe

UFZ - Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Dept. System Ecotoxicology, Permoser Strasse 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany.
Science of The Total Environment (Impact Factor: 3.16). 10/2007; 382(2-3):272-85. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2007.04.040
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT There is a paucity of large-scale field investigations on the effects of organic toxicants on stream macroinvertebrate community structure and ecosystem functions. We investigated a total of 29 streams in two study areas of France and Finland for pesticide exposure, invertebrates and leaf-litter breakdown. To link pesticide exposure and community composition we applied the trait-based Species At Risk (SPEAR) indicator system. In the French region, pesticide stress was associated with a decrease in the relative abundance and number of sensitive species in the communities. The presence of undisturbed upstream reaches partly compensated the effects of pesticide contamination. Functional effects of pesticides were identified by a 2.5-fold reduction of the leaf-litter breakdown rate that was closely correlated with the structural changes in the contaminated streams. No effects of pesticides were observed in Finnish streams since contamination with pesticides was very low. In a follow-up analysis, the SPEAR approach successfully discriminated between reference and contaminated sites across different biogeographical regions, also including results of a previous field study in North Germany. Furthermore, change of the community structure was detectable at a concentration range as low as 1/100 to 1/1000 the acute 48 h-LC50 of Daphnia magna. Our findings demonstrate that pesticides may influence the structure and function of lotic ecosystems and that the SPEAR approach can be used as a powerful tool in biomonitoring over large spatial scales.

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    ABSTRACT: This report presents the monitoring results in surface waters of plant protection products in 2007–2012, and water quality and metal concentration in the area of acid sulphate soils in 2009–2012. Contaminant monitoring in surface waters has been part of a national Programme to monitor agriculture and forestry effects on Finnish freshwaters, the so called “MaaMet” monitoring program. The most frequently found compounds are presented, and observed concentrations are compared to the environmental quality standards (EQS) and to other reference values. Altoghether 68 compounds of the 201 analysed were identified. Concentrations were mainly low. Only the concentrations of four sulfunylureaherbicides exceeded their reference values during the observation period, and after 2008 only triasulfuron. Monitoring revealed the EQS of diuron and terbutryn was exceeded in Vantaanjoki watercourse due to biocide use. When the biocide use ended, the concentrations decreased below the detection limits in the river. Four plant protection products previously used as insecticides, which were not allowed or even banned, were found in single water samples in concentrations above their reference values (endrin, alfa-endosulphan, furathiocarb, malathion). The sources of them remained unknown. No compounds were detected in about one third of the samples while at least ten compounds were detected in 5% of the samples. The ecological water quality was lower than good in sites where the number of detected compounds was the highest. In the surface waters affected by acid sulphate soils the majority of river and estuary waters experienced acid run-off with concurrent elevated concentrations of aluminium, cadmium, cobolt, manganese, nickel, iron and zinc. The concentrations of cadmium and nickel exceeded their EQS values at several sites. The concentrations of lead and zinc were below their EQS values during the whole observation period. Acid run-off together with metals leached from the soil impaires the ecological and chemical status of both river and estuary waters in the area of acid sulphate soils in western Finland.
    12/2014; Finnish Environment Institute., ISBN: 978-952-11-4401-1
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    ABSTRACT: Turkey is one of the biggest cotton producing countries in the world. Defoliant is applied on 17% of the Turkey cotton production, which is similar to average defoliant application in the world. In Turkey, Finish ® and Dropp ® are widely in use as defoliant for desired boll opening in cotton. Finish ® contains ethephon a.i. and cyclanilide a.i., and Dropp ® contains thidiazuron a.i. and diuron a.i. In this study, total risk of defoliant on human health and environment were calculated by POCER (The Pesticide Occupational and Environmental Risk) indicator. The objective of this study was to determine the total risk value of defoliant application in cotton on human health and environment in Turkey. Thidiazuron a.i. has no potential risk on human health and environment. Diuron a.i. has relatively low total risk value on human health. Yet, it has very low risk on environment (0.097). Ethephon a.i. has relatively high total risk on human health (1.550). Cyclanilide a.i. has total risk on human health similar to ethephon a.i. These active ingredients (a.i.) have no potential risk for environment. Consequently, defoliant application in cotton has very low total risk value due to 10 of maximum value.
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    ABSTRACT: Contamination is a particular harmful type of chemical disturbance and predicting their effects on natural systems is very complex. Effects of disturbances vary in space and time and depend, among other things, on the type and age of organisms, the habitat being studied and the complex interactions occurring in the systems. Most impact analyses of contaminants are however still done with limited number of selected organisms under laboratory conditions. Manipulative experiments done in situ are important to measure ecologically relevant responses of contaminant effects on marine systems. Ecological approaches on contamination studies, accounting for interactions among species and the environment are essential to understand how such disturbances affect systems. We evaluated the effects of bleach and permethrin, two common and pervasive contaminants, on intertidal benthic assemblages in two different successional stages, mature and young. There were no impacts on the overall structure of assemblages, regardless of their age. The lack of effects on the structure of assemblages might be due to the intrinsic characteristic of the habitat studied, which provide few sinks for contaminants, as well as the inherent features of the organisms themselves. Bleach did cause, however, a decrease in the abundance of limpets, which can have further consequences to these systems. This study shows the importance of studies on chemical disturbances done under relevant natural scenarios and that efficient management policies of natural systems will only achieve successful responses with properly designed experiments under natural conditions.
    Science of The Total Environment 02/2015; 506-507:10-17. DOI:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.10.095 · 3.16 Impact Factor

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