Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Insecticides lead to starvation of aquatic organisms

Date:
May 15, 2013
Source:
EAWAG: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology
Summary:
Neonicotinoid insecticides have adverse effects not only on bees but also on freshwater invertebrates. Exposure to low but constant concentrations of these substances – which are highly soluble in water – has lethal effects on these aquatic organisms.

Gammaruspule and a leaf 'skeleton.'
Credit: Image courtesy of EAWAG: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology

Neonicotinoid insecticides have adverse effects not only on bees but also on freshwater invertebrates. Exposure to low but constant concentrations of these substances -- which are highly soluble in water -- has lethal effects on these aquatic organisms.

Related Articles


At the end of April, the EU imposed a 2-year ban on the use of neurotoxic agents belonging to the neonicotinoid group. In Switzerland, the Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG) has followed suit, suspending the authorizations of three insecticides used on oilseed rape and maize fields. These measures have been taken in response to evidence that neonicotinoids are toxic to honeybees and are contributing to the decline of bee colonies.

Problems seen with constant exposure

An Eawag study published today in the journal PLOS ONE (Public Library of Science) now shows that at least one of the insecticides in this class also has toxic effects on freshwater invertebrates. In this study, native freshwater shrimps (gammarids) were exposed to pulsed high and to constant low concentrations of imidacloprid. Peak concentrations typically occur when rain falls on farmland during or shortly after the application of insecticides; these soluble but persistent substances can then enter surface waters via runoff. Interestingly, pulses lasting no more than a day proved less harmful to the organisms than concentrations that were much lower but persisted for several days or weeks. While organisms transferred to clean water after pulsed exposure recovered relatively rapidly, constant exposure led to starvation after 2 to 3 weeks. This was because the organisms' mobility and feeding behaviour was impaired by the neurotoxin.

Failure of conventional toxicity testing

The slow starvation effect observed under constant exposure to low levels of neonicotinoids is not detected by conventional toxicity tests, as they are not carried out over a period of several weeks. In addition, the study indicated that seasonal and environmental factors can be crucial: the results of the experiments are significantly affected by organisms' initial fitness and lipid reserves. To eliminate these effects and to identify processes other than starvation that influence survival rates in aquatic organisms, the research team has also developed a mathematical model which makes it possible to predict harmful concentrations and exposure times.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by EAWAG: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Anna-Maija Nyman, Anita Hintermeister, Kristin Schirmer, Roman Ashauer. The Insecticide Imidacloprid Causes Mortality of the Freshwater Amphipod Gammarus pulex by Interfering with Feeding Behavior. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (5): e62472 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0062472

Cite This Page:

EAWAG: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology. "Insecticides lead to starvation of aquatic organisms." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130515203015.htm>.
EAWAG: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology. (2013, May 15). Insecticides lead to starvation of aquatic organisms. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130515203015.htm
EAWAG: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology. "Insecticides lead to starvation of aquatic organisms." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130515203015.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Antarctic sea ice isn't only expanding, it's thicker than previously thought, and scientists aren't sure exactly why. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — A multinational group of scientists have released the first ever detailed, high-resolution 3-D maps of Antarctic sea ice. Using an underwater robot equipped with sonar, the researchers mapped the underside of a massive area of sea ice to gauge the impact of climate change. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins