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Effects of pesticides to macrophytes and macroinvertebrates and aquatic-terrestrial food web coupling in stream mesocosms

  • Agricultural land-use may lead to brief pulse exposures of pesticides in edge-of-field streams, potentially resulting in adverse effects on aquatic macrophytes, invertebrates and ecosystem functions. The higher tier risk assessment is mainly based on pond mesocosms which are not designed to mimic stream-typical conditions. Relatively little is known on exposure and effect assessment using stream mesocosms. Thus the present thesis evaluates the appliacability of the stream mesocosms to mimic stream-typical pulse exposures, to assess resulting effects on flora and fauna and to evaluate aquatic-terrestrial food web coupling. The first objective was to mimic stream-typical pulse exposure scenarios with different durations (≤ 1 to ≥ 24 hours). These exposure scenarios established using a fluorescence tracer were the methodological basis for the effect assessment of an herbicide and an insecticide. In order to evaluate the applicability of stream mesocosms for regulatory purposes, the second objective was to assess effects on two aquatic macrophytes following a 24-h pulse exposure with the herbicide iofensulfuron-sodium (1, 3, 10 and 30 µg/L; n = 3). Growth inhibition of up to 66 and 45% was observed for the total shoot length of Myriophyllum spicatum and Elodea canadensis, respectively. Recovery of this endpoint could be demonstrated within 42 days for both macrophytes. The third objective was to assess effects on structural and functional endpoints following a 6-h pulse exposure of the pyrethroid ether etofenprox (0.05, 0.5 and 5 µg/L; n = 4). The most sensitive structural (abundance of Cloeon simile) and functional (feeding rates of Asellus aquaticus) endpoint revealed significant effects at 0.05 µg/L etofenprox. This concentration was below field-measured etofenprox concentrations and thus suggests that pulse exposures adversely affect invertebrate populations and ecosystem functions in streams. Such pollutions of streams may also result in decreased emergence of aquatic insects and potentially lead to an insect-mediated transfer of pollutants to adjacent food webs. Test systems capable to assess aquatic-terrestrial effects are not yet integrated in mesocosm approaches but might be of interest for substances with bioaccumulation potential. Here, the fourth part provides an aquatic-terrestrial model ecosystem capable to assess cross-ecosystem effects. Information on the riparian food web such as the contribution of aquatic (up to 71%) and terrestrial (up to 29%) insect prey to the diet of the riparian spider Tetragnatha extensa was assessed via stable isotope ratios (δ13C and δ15N). Thus, the present thesis provides the methodological basis to assess aquatic-terrestrial pollutant transfer and effects on the riparian food web. Overall the results of this thesis indicate, that stream mesocosms can be used to mimic stream-typical pulse exposures of pesticides, to assess resulting effects on macrophytes and invertebrates within prospective environmental risk assessment (ERA) and to evaluate changes in riparian food webs.

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Author:Matthias V. Wieczorek
Referee:Ralf Schulz, Mirco Bundschuh
Advisor:Ralf Schulz
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Date of completion:2017/01/24
Date of publication:2017/01/24
Publishing institution:Universität Koblenz, Universitätsbibliothek
Granting institution:Universität Koblenz-Landau, Campus Landau, Fachbereich 7
Date of final exam:2016/12/22
Release Date:2017/01/24
Tag:Aquatic Guidance Document; aquatic invertebrates; aquatic macrophytes; pesticide risk assessment; stream mesocosm
Number of pages:161
Institutes:Fachbereich 7
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 50 Naturwissenschaften
BKL-Classification:43 Umweltforschung, Umweltschutz
Licence (German):License LogoEs gilt das deutsche Urheberrecht: § 53 UrhG