Ann. Limnol. - Int. J. Lim.
Volume 47, Number 3, 2011
|Page(s)||239 - 249|
|Published online||04 July 2011|
Impact of the herbicide metolachlor on river periphytic diatoms: Experimental comparison of descriptors at different biological organization levels
Cemagref, UR REBX, 33612 Cestas Cedex, France
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 8 March 2011
A microcosm experiment was carried out in order to test the effect of the herbicide metolachlor on river periphytic diatoms and to find potential diatom bioindicators of contamination. Effects were investigated at different biological organization levels (biofilm, diatom community, population and individual levels). The colonization of glass substrates by natural biofilm in artificial streams did not vary quantitatively between control and contaminated conditions (5 and 30 μg.L−1). However, non-parametric multivariate analysis of variance revealed a significant difference between contaminated and control diatom communities with regard to species composition. The difference was due to the greater development of probably tolerant species in the presence of the herbicide (e.g., Planothidium frequentissimum, Planothidium lanceolatum, Amphora montana, Surirella brebissonii and Nitzschia gracilis). An increase in the occurrence of abnormal forms was observed in relation to metolachlor concentration. In particular, up to 8% of the frustules of the species Surirella angusta exhibited prominent deformities. Monospecific acute toxicity tests were then performed on two species to estimate toxicity parameters based on growth inhibition. These tests also confirmed the teratogenic effect of the herbicide on S. angusta. This study shows that low concentrations of metolachlor in natural streams may significantly alter diatom community structure and that abnormal diatom forms should be taken into account in water contamination assessment.
Key words: Community / diatoms / herbicide / metolachlor / toxicity
© EDP Sciences, 2011
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