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Long-term effects of a catastrophic insecticide spill on stream invertebrates.
Sci. Total Environ. 768:144456 (2021)
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Accidental spills or illegal discharges of pesticides in aquatic ecosystems can lead to exposure levels that strongly exceed authorized pesticide concentrations, causing major impacts on aquatic ecosystems. Such short-term events often remain undetected in regular monitoring programs with infrequent sampling. In early spring 2015, we identified a catastrophic pesticide spill with the insecticide cypermethrin in the Holtemme River, Germany. Based on existing pre-event macroinvertebrate community data, we monitored the effects and recovery of the macroinvertebrate community for more than two years after the spill. Strong short-term effects were apparent for all taxa with the exception of Chironomidae and Tubificidae. Effects could also be observed on the community level as total abundance, taxa number and biomass strongly decreased. Total abundance and taxa number showed a fast recovery. Regarding long-term effects, the total biomass remained substantially below the pre-contamination level (76%) until the end of the study. Also the abundances of three taxa (Gammarus, Leuctra, Limnius Ad.) did not return to levels prior to the spill even after 26 months. This lack of the taxon-specific recovery was likely due to their long generation time and a low migration ability due to a restricted connectivity between the contaminated site and uncontaminated stream sections. These factors proved to be stronger predictors for the recovery than the pesticide tolerance. We revealed that the biological indicators SPEARpesticides and share of Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera and Trichoptera (EPT) are not suitable for the identification of such extreme events, when nearly all taxa are eradicated. Both indicators are functioning only when repeated stressors initiate long-term competitive replacement of sensitive by insensitive taxa. We conclude that pesticide spills can have significant long-term effects on stream macroinvertebrate communities. Regular ecological monitoring is imperative to identify such ecosystem impairments, combined with analytical chemistry methods to identify the potential sources of spills.
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Publikationstyp Artikel: Journalartikel
Dokumenttyp Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Schlagwörter Catastrophic Release ; Cypermethrin ; Ecological Effects ; Macroinvertebrates ; Monitoring ; Recovery
ISSN (print) / ISBN 0048-9697
Zeitschrift Science of the Total Environment, The
Quellenangaben Band: 768, Artikelnummer: 144456
Verlagsort Radarweg 29, 1043 Nx Amsterdam, Netherlands
Begutachtungsstatus Peer reviewed
Institut(e) PPM-MEX-Molecular EXposomics (MEX)
Förderungen Helmholtz Association