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A risk assessment of pollution: induction of atrazine tolerance in phytoplankton communities in freshwater outdoor mesocosms, using chlorophyll fluorescence as an endpoint



A risk assessment of pollution: induction of atrazine tolerance in phytoplankton communities in freshwater outdoor mesocosms, using chlorophyll fluorescence as an endpoint



Water Research 36(13): 3227-3236



We investigated the validity and sensitivity of assessments of the induction of atrazine tolerance in freshwater outdoor mesocosmic phytoplankton communities, using the in vivo fluorescence of chlorophyll a as an endpoint, for monitoring ecotoxicology and for risk assessment programs applied to phytoplankton contaminated by photosystem II herbicides. Atrazine inhibits the photosynthetic process, and so the rise in in-vivo fluorescence could be used as a physiological manifestation of acute toxicity. Short-term tests (1 h) were used, in which increasing concentrations of the herbicide were applied to phytoplankton samples taken every two days from the mesocosms, and used to plot dose-response curves. The concentration at which atrazine increased the fluorescence by 25% relative to control samples was used to demonstrate the sensitivity of the phytoplankton, and the values found were compared for samples from different mesocosms (contaminated and non-contaminated). The taxonomic composition of the phytoplankton was also determined. The data showed that chronic exposure (25 days) to 30 microg/L of atrazine significantly increased the apparent tolerance of the phytoplankton to further contamination by the same compound. The use of in vivo fluorescence of chlorophyll a appears to be a reliable and effective parameter for monitoring the effects of atrazine pollution, and detecting the changes in community tolerance driven by pollution selection pressure.

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Accession: 010095461

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 12188119

DOI: 10.1016/s0043-1354(02)00013-1


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