Assessment of the impacts of GABA and AChE targeting pesticides on freshwater invertebrate family richness in English rivers

Poyntz-Wright, Imogen P.; Harrison, Xavier A.; Johnson, Andrew; Zappala, Susan; Tyler, Charles R.. 2024 Assessment of the impacts of GABA and AChE targeting pesticides on freshwater invertebrate family richness in English rivers. Science of the Total Environment, 912, 169079. 13, pp.

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Globally, riverine system biodiversity is threatened by a range of stressors, spanning pollution, sedimentation, alterations to water flow, and climate change. Pesticides have been associated with population level impacts on freshwater invertebrates for acute high-level exposures, but far less is known about the chronic impact of episodic exposure to specific classes of pesticides or their mixtures. Here we employed the use of the UK Environment Agency's monitoring datasets over 40 years (covering years 1980 to 2019) to assess the impacts of AChE (acetylcholinesterase) and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) receptor targeting pesticides on invertebrate family richness at English river sites. Concentrations of AChE and GABA pesticides toxic to freshwater invertebrates occurred (measured) across 18 of the 66 river sites assessed. For one of the three river sites (all found in the Midlands region of England) where data recorded over the past 40 years were sufficient for robust modelling studies, both AChE and GABA pesticides associated with invertebrate family richness. Here, where AChE total pesticide concentrations were classified as high, 46 of 64 invertebrate families were absent, and where GABA total pesticide concentration were classified as high, 16 of 64 invertebrate families were absent. Using a combination of field evidence and laboratory toxicity thresholds for population relevant endpoints we identify families of invertebrates most at risk in the selected English rivers to AChE and GABA pesticides. We, furthermore, provide strong evidence that the absence of the invertebrate family Polycentropodidae (caddisfly) from one field site is due to exposure effects to AChE pesticides.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Pollution (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 0048-9697
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: pesticides, macroinvertebrates, pollution, rivers, field, laboratory
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 15 Jan 2024 11:35 +0 (UTC)

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