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Effects of cypermethrin on marine plankton communities: a simulated field study using mesocosms

Medina M, Barata C, Telfer T & Baird DJ (2004) Effects of cypermethrin on marine plankton communities: a simulated field study using mesocosms, Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 58 (2), pp. 236-245.

In earlier single-species toxicity tests we showed the negative effects on the calanoid copepod Acartia tonsa upon exposure to cypermethrin, a pesticide used in treatment for sea lice in salmon farming. In the present study we assessed effects at a higher level of biological organization and under a more realistic exposure scenario using mesocosms. The results showed that simulated field studies (SFSs) could be conducted with the mesocosms designed here. When cypermethrin was applied inside these mesocosms, its concentration decreased exponentially following a first-order kinetics model. The pesticide immediately reduced zooplankton density and biodiversity not only directly, by killing copepods, but also indirectly, by increasing the numbers of rotifers. Zooplankton density recovered after treatment, but zooplankton biodiversity remained altered. In an open environment, however, the rapid dissipation of the pesticide, coupled with population processes of compensation, migration, and immigration, may lead to recovery of the affected zooplankton communities.

ecotoxicology; aquaculture; sea lice; cypermethrin; Acartia tonsa; zooplankton; mesocosms

AuthorsMedina Matias, Barata Carlos, Telfer Trevor, Baird Donald J
Publication date06/2004
ISSN 0147-6513

Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety: Volume 58, Issue 2 (JUN 2004)

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