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.
- Artificial streams
- Secondary effects