Influence of isolation on the recovery of pond mesocosms from the application of an insecticide. I. Study design and planktonic community responses

Mark L. Hanson, David W. Graham, Emmanuelle Babin, Didier Azam, Marie-Agnes Coutellec, Charles W. Knapp, Laurent Lagadic, Thierry Caquet

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Abstract

The influence of relative isolation on the ecological recovery of freshwater outdoor mesocosm communities after an acute toxic stress was assessed in a 14-month-long study. A single concentration of deltamethrin was applied to 8 out of 16 outdoor 9-m3 mesocosms to create a rapid decrease of the abundance of arthropods. To discriminate between external and internal recovery mechanisms, four treated and four untreated (control) mesocosms were covered with 1-mm mesh screen lids. The dynamics of planktonic communities were monitored in the four types of ponds. The abundance of many phytoplankton taxa increased after deltamethrin addition, but the magnitude of most increases was relatively small, probably due to low nutrient availability and the survival of rotifers. The greatest impact on zooplankton was seen in Daphniidae and, to a lesser extent, calanoid copepods. Recovery (defined as when statistical analysis failed to detect a difference in the abundance between the deltamethrin-treated ponds and corresponding control ponds for two consecutive sampling dates) of Daphniidae was observed in the water column 105 and 77 d after deltamethrin addition in open and covered mesocosms, respectively, and 42 d for both open and covered ponds at the surface of the sediments. Rotifers did not proliferate, probably because of the survival of predators (e.g., cyclopoid copepods). These results confirm that the recovery of planktonic communities after exposure to a strong temporary chemical stress mostly depends upon internal mechanisms (except for larvae of the insect Chaoborus sp.) and that recovery dynamics are controlled by biotic factors, such as the presence of dormant forms and selective survival of predators.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1265-1279
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Volume26
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007

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Keywords

  • ecological recovery
  • connectivity
  • aquatic mesocosms
  • higher-tier risk
  • assessment
  • deltamethrin

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