3 years ago

Chlorpyrifos interacts with other agricultural stressors to alter stream communities in laboratory microcosms

Ana M. Chará-Serna, John S. Richardson
Chlorpyrifos is one of the most widely used agricultural insecticides in the world, but to date there is limited empirical information about its potential to interact with other common agricultural stressors. We conducted a 15-day, community-level microcosm experiment evaluating individual and combined effects of chlorpyrifos, nutrient enrichment, and sedimentation on stream invertebrate communities (abundance, biomass, richness, size structure, composition) and ecosystem processes (primary productivity and leaf decomposition). We found that sedimentation was the most detrimental stressor, with significant negative impacts on most invertebrate community and ecosystem function variables. Even though chlorpyrifos did not cause significant invertebrate mortality in the microcosms, it still altered ecosystem function by lowering leaf decomposition rates, probably through sublethal inhibition of invertebrate shredders. Furthermore, we observed a significant reversal interaction between chlorpyrifos and sediment for small-sized invertebrates collected in gravel (abundance in sediment x insecticide microcosms was 2.4 times lower than predicted by additivity), as well as an antagonistic interaction with nutrients on invertebrate richness in the same microhabitat (richness in nutrient x insecticide microcosms was 1.6 times higher than predicted by additivity). Our results suggest that chlorpyrifos has the potential to alter freshwater ecosystem function and interact non-additively with other common agricultural stressors. These findings are in keeping with a growing body of research highlighting that multiple stressor interactions and ecosystem processes should be considered when evaluating the impacts of organic toxicants on freshwater ecosystems. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/eap.1637

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