Environmental science & technology, 15 August 2017, Vol.51(16), pp.9280-9287
Disturbance regimes determine communities' structure and functioning. Nonetheless, little effort has been undertaken to understand interactions of press and pulse disturbances. In this context, leaf-shredding macroinvertebrates can be chronically exposed to wastewater treatment plant effluents (i.e., press disturbance) before experiencing pesticide exposure following agricultural runoff (i.e., pulse disturbance). It is assumed that wastewater pre-exposure alters animals' sensitivity to pesticides. To test this hypothesis, we exposed model-populations of the shredder Gammarus fossarum to wastewater at three field-relevant dilution levels (i.e., 0%, 50%, and 100%). After 2, 4, and 6 weeks, survival, leaf consumption, dry weight, and energy reserves were monitored. Additionally, animals were assessed for their sensitivity toward the neonicotinoid insecticide thiacloprid using their feeding rate as response variable. Both wastewater treatments reduced gammarids' survival, leaf consumption, dry weight, and energy reserves. Moreover, both wastewater pre-exposure scenarios increased animals' sensitivity toward thiacloprid by up to 2.5 times compared to the control. Our results thus demonstrate that press disturbance as posed by wastewater pre-exposure can enhance susceptibility of key players in ecosystem functioning to further (pulse) disturbances. Therefore, applying mitigation measures such as advanced treatment technologies seems sensible to support functional integrity in the multiple-stress situation.
Amphipoda ; Pesticides -- Toxicity ; Water Pollutants, Chemical -- Toxicity
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