Short-term exposure to aqueous endosulfan affects macroinvertebrate assemblages

Grant C. Hose*, Richard P. Lim, Ross V. Hyne, Fleur Pablo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


The toxicity of the organochlorine pesticide endosulfan to macroinvertebrate assemblages was tested using a system of 24 artificial streams. In separate experiments, the effects of 12- and 48-h exposure to aqueous endosulfan were assessed. No-observed-effect concentrations (NOEC) for endosulfan on macroinvertebrate assemblages were 8.69 and 1.00μg/L for the 12- and 48-h exposure studies, respectively. In both studies, changes were driven by reduced abundances of the mayfly, Jappa kutera. Algal blooms occurred in the 48-h exposure experiment in streams that received the 6.87 or 30.70μg/L treatments. These effects occurred at concentrations that might occur as a result of episodic events such as accidental overspray or rainstorms. By establishing a causal link between endosulfan and changes to macroinvertebrate assemblages, this study adds further weight to the hypothesis that endosulfan is a major contributor to changes observed in rivers of the cotton-growing region of New South Wales, Australia during the pesticide spray season.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-294
Number of pages13
JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Artificial streams
  • Endosulfan
  • Macroinvertebrates
  • Mesocosms
  • Secondary effects

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