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Effects of photosystem II inhibitors and their mixture on freshwater phytoplankton succession in outdoor mesocosms

: Knauert, S.; Dawo, U.; Hollender, J.; Hommen, U.; Knauer, K.


Environmental toxicology and chemistry 28 (2009), No.4, pp.836-845
ISSN: 0730-7268
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IME ()
phytoplankton community; mixture toxicity; mesocosm; recovery

Effects of three photosystem II inhibitors and of their mixture on a freshwater phytoplankton community were studied in outdoor mesocosms. Atrazine, isoproturon, and diuron were applied as 30% hazardous concentrations (HC30s) obtained from species-sensitivity distributions. Taking concentration addition into account, the mixture comprised one-third of the HC30 of each substance. Effects were investigated during a five-week period of constant concentrations and a five-month posttreatment period when the herbicides dissipated. Total abundance, species composition, and diversity and recovery of the community were evaluated.
Ordination techniques, such as principal component analysis and principal response curve, were applied to compare the various treatments on the community level. The three herbicides stimulated comparable effects on total abundance and diversity of phytoplankton during the period of constant exposure because of the susceptibility of the dominant cryptophytes Chroomonas acuta and Cryptomonas erosa et ovata and the prasinophyte Nephroselmis cf. olivacea. Moreover, concentration addition described combined effects of atrazine, isoproturon, and diuron on total abundance and diversity in the constant-exposure period, because their mixture induced effects on abundance and diversity similar to those of the single substances. Principal component and principal response curve analyses revealed that the community structure of diuron- and isoproturon-treated phytoplankton recovered two weeks after constant exposure, which might be related to the fast dissipation of the phenylureas. Species compositions of mixture- and atrazine-treated communities were not comparable to that of the control community ?ve months after the end of constant exposure. This might be explained by the slower dissipation of atrazine relative to the phenylureas and by differences in the species sensitivities, resulting in a different succession of phytoplankton.