Short-term exposure to aqueous endosulfan affects macroinvertebrate assemblages

Academic Press Inc Elsevier Science
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Ecotoxicology And Environmental Safety, 2003, 56 (2), pp. 282 - 294
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The toxicity of the organochlorine pesticide endosulfan to macroinvertebrate assemblages was tested using a system of 24 artificial streams. In separate experiments, the effects of 12- and 48-h exposure to aqueous endosulfan were assessed. No-observed-effect concentrations (NOEC) for endosulfan on macroinvertebrate assemblages were 8.69 and 1.00 µg/L for the 12- and 48-h exposure studies, respectively. In both studies, changes were driven by reduced abundances of the mayfly, Jappa kutera. Algal blooms occurred in the 48-h exposure experiment in streams that received the 6.87 or 30.70 µg/L treatments. These effects occurred at concentrations that might occur as a result of episodic events such as accidental overspray or rainstorms. By establishing a causal link between endosulfan and changes to macroinvertebrate assemblages, this study adds further weight to the hypothesis that endosulfan is a major contributor to changes observed in rivers of the cotton-growing region of New South Wales, Australia during the pesticide spray season.
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