Short-term response and recovery of Zostera capricorni photosynthesis after herbicide exposure

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Journal Article
Aquatic Botany, 2003, 76 (1), pp. 1 - 15
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We used photosynthetic activity (measured as chlorophyll a fluorescence) and photosynthetic pigment concentrations to assess the effect of pulsed exposure to catastrophic levels of the herbicides Atrazine, Diuron and Irgarol 1051 on the seagrass Zostera capricorni Aschers. in laboratory and field experiments. Custom-made in situ chambers were developed so seagrasses could be dosed within the meadow. Zostera capricorni was exposed to 10 and 100 μg l-1 herbicide solutions for 10 h. During this time and for the subsequent 4-day recovery period, chlorophyll a fluorescence parameters (maximum quantum yield: Fv/Fm and effective quantum yield: ΔF′m) were measured. Laboratory samples exposed to these herbicides were severely impacted during the exposure period and most treatments did not recover fully. ΔF/F′m was a more sensitive indicator of herbicide impact than Fv/Fm. In situ samples were also severely impacted by Irgarol and Diuron exposure whereas samples recovered completely after exposure to Atrazine at the same concentrations as the laboratory experiments. Total chlorophyll concentrations showed only limited impact in both laboratory and field situations. This study suggests that laboratory experiments may overestimate the on-going impact of herbicides on seagrass. © 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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