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Macrophytes for aquatic toxicology testing: some alternatives for consideration (what's wrong with Lemna)

Newman, Jonathan R.; van Valkenburg, Johan L.C.H.. 2013 Macrophytes for aquatic toxicology testing: some alternatives for consideration (what's wrong with Lemna). [Poster] In: SETAC Europe 23rd Annual Meeting, Glasgow, 12-16 May 2013. (Unpublished)

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Abstract/Summary

The continued use of Lemna species as the standard aquatic macrophyte test species provides little relevant data for adequate ecological impact assessment of pesticides tested using this system. The adoption of a Myriophyllum test protocol is a big step forward in making ecotoxicological tests valuable in terms of what effects a pesticide might have in aquatic systems. However, there are many different life forms, life cycle strategies, reproductive strategies, physiologies, carbon acquisition mechanisms, carbon dioxide uptake capacities, epiphyte interactions, root zone physiologies and various other morphological and physiological adaptations to the aquatic environment adopted by other important aquatic species which make reliance on single species tests virtually worthless in an ecological context. In addition to morphological variability between environments, which can also be accompanied by physiological responses to water temperature, light intensity and pH (which is also linked to carbon availability and alkalinity), plants grow in different sediment types. Any aquatic toxicology protocol or assessment without sediment will produce artificially elevated toxicity levels and prolonged persistence data. Aquatic ecosystems are robust and recovery of macrophytes perceived as sensitive is often rapid, and almost always within one growing season, even after application of herbicides formulated specifically to control aquatic macrophytes. We believe that selection of a wider range of aquatic macrophyte species with a range of tolerances to temperature, light, sediment preference, and carbon physiologies will provide a more robust ecotoxicological assessment framework for assessment of the impacts of pesticides in the aquatic and riparian environment. We will propose a list of species suitable for growth in the laboratory with defined measureable responses to pesticide stress. We will propose further developments of aquatic plant testing include ecophysiological and molecular marker techniques that could be adopted to make such tests much more rapid, reliable and robust without the need for extensive large scale mesocosm studies with adequate recovery periods.

Item Type: Publication - Conference Item (Poster)
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water
CEH Sections/Science Areas: Acreman
Additional Keywords: macrophyte, freshwater, herbicide
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 04 Jun 2013 08:52 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/501834

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