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Seasonal shift in the sensitivity of a natural benthic microalgal community to a herbicide mixture: impact on the protective level of thresholds derived from species sensitivity distributions

Abstract : Seasonal changes in the structure and composition of a benthic microalgal community may lead to different responses to herbicide contamination during different seasons. Consequently, the thresholds derived from risk assessment tools such as species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) must allow for these changes. We built a single-substance SSD for each of four herbicides (atrazine, terbutryn, diuron and isoproturon), which was specific to the sensitivity of the benthic diatoms found in Lake Geneva, in order to derive protective thresholds for a mixture of these four herbicides using the concentration addition model. We then investigated (1) the structural parameters of a Lake Geneva benthic microalgal community during two contrasting seasons (summer 2012 and winter 2013), (2) the response of these communities to a herbicide mixture, and (3) the protective levels of the thresholds derived. The winter community was characterized by having greater biomass, diatom species richness, and diversity metrics, and lower non-diatom species richness than the summer community. The differences in the diatom communities composition in these seasons appeared to be primarily driven by the environmental nitrate concentrations and the temperature. Moreover, the species in the winter community were more resistant to herbicides than those found in the summer community. Consequently, the protective threshold for this herbicide mixture obtained in this study was in fact protective for the winter community, but not for the summer community based on their structural parameters. Thus, the protective level against herbicides of the threshold for the benthic microalgal community should take into account changes in the environmental physico-chemical conditions that strongly influence the structure and composition of the community. The fact that the succession of species over time (i.e., over the seasons) is difficult to predict introduces uncertainties into the estimation of protective thresholds and questions their applicability year round.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-02636768
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Submitted on : Wednesday, May 27, 2020 - 9:21:18 PM
Last modification on : Friday, July 2, 2021 - 2:08:12 PM

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Floriane Larras, Bernard Montuelle, Frédéric Rimet, Nathalie Chèvre, Agnes Bouchez. Seasonal shift in the sensitivity of a natural benthic microalgal community to a herbicide mixture: impact on the protective level of thresholds derived from species sensitivity distributions. Ecotoxicology, Springer Verlag, 2014, 23 (6), pp.1109-1123. ⟨10.1007/s10646-014-1254-2⟩. ⟨hal-02636768⟩

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