Response of phytoplankton community to low-dose atrazine exposure combined with phosphorus fluctuations.Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. 2009 Jul; 57(1):50-9.AE
The effects of atrazine on a controlled phytoplankton community derived from a natural freshwater wetland exposed to low doses of this photosynthesis-inhibiting herbicide were examined. The community was exposed for 7 weeks to doses of 0.1, 1, and 10 microg L(-1) atrazine, combined with changes in nutrient concentration, and the photosynthetic activity, biomass, and community structure were noted during the experiment. Responses of the phytoplankton community were examined in terms of photosynthetic activity, biomass, and community structure. Significant effects of atrazine on the phytoplankton assemblage, in terms of primary production and community structure, were highlighted, even at doses as low as 1 and 0.1 microg L(-1), when associated with phosphorus fluctuations. The most abundant Chlorophyceae decreased in concentration with increasing atrazine dose, whereas cyanobacteria were more tolerant to atrazine, particularly with increased nutrient supply. The subinhibitory doses of atrazine used in the present study confirmed the higher sensitivity of long-term exposure of multispecies assemblages under resource competition. Our study supports the emerging hypothesis that the increasing prevalence of cyanobacterial blooms in European aquatic systems may result from a combination of unbalanced nutrient enrichment and selective pressures from multiple toxicants.