Interactions of nutrients and pesticides and their effects on aquatic macrofauna
Can we distinguish the effects of pesticides from other abiotic and biotic factors that occur in the field? And how do these factors interact with pesticides?
Photo: Les pesticides et engrais sont l'une des principales sources de pollution en France © MaxPPP
Whilst in ecotoxicology outstanding lab experiments are performed to unravel the toxicity of pesticides, the results of these experiments can often not be directly extrapolated to natural systems. This is because many additional factors directly and indirectly influence the toxicity of pesticides. This project sets out to distinguish the effects of pesticides from these other factors and study their possible interactions.
In order to sustain the agricultural practices of humans, an abundancy of pesticides is used. The number of pesticides used is only increasing and therefore the pollution of aquatic environments is becoming more complex. Adding to the complexity are additional biotic and abiotic factors such as species competition and high nutrient loads that occur in natural systems. These factors potentially ‘mask’ the toxic effects of pesticides on aquatic communities or even add to toxicity themselves.
This research will address these complex interactions on multiple levels via a lab and field approach. We will focus on ditch systems as these systems are i) directly linked to areas where pesticides are used, ii) contain high nutrient concentrations and iii) harbor unique biota.
- Ieromina, O., Peijnenburg, W.J.G.M., de Snoo, G.R., Vijver, M.G. (2014). Population responses of Daphnia magna, Chydorus sphaericus and Asellus aquaticus in pesticide contaminated ditches around bulb fields. Enviromental Pollution 192, 196-203
- Ieromina, O., Peijnenburg, W. J. G. M., Musters, C. J.M., and Vijver, M. G. (2015). The contribution of pesticides to the variance in community composition of aquatic macrofauna in the field. Basic and Applied Ecology