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Neonicotinoid insecticides from a marine perspective: acute and chronic copepod testing and derivation of environmental quality standards
Moeris, S.; Vanryckeghem, F.; Demeestere, K.; De Schamphelaere, K.A.C. (2021). Neonicotinoid insecticides from a marine perspective: acute and chronic copepod testing and derivation of environmental quality standards. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 40(5): 1353-1367. https://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/etc.4986
In: Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. Setac Press: New York. ISSN 0730-7268; e-ISSN 1552-8618, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Copepoda [WoRMS]
    Marine/Coastal
Author keywords
    Neonicotinoids; Marine ecotoxicology; Copepods; Immobilization; Acuteand chronic testing

Authors  Top 
  • Moeris, S., more
  • Vanryckeghem, F., more
  • Demeestere, K., more
  • De Schamphelaere, K.A.C., more

Abstract
    Neonicotinoid insecticides have become of global concern for the aquatic environment. Harpacticoid copepods are among the organisms most sensitive to neonicotinoids. We exposed the brackish copepod Nitocra spinipes to 4 neonicotinoid insecticides (clothianidin, imidacloprid, thiacloprid, and thiamethoxam) to investigate acute toxicity on adults (96-h exposure) and effects on larval development (7-d exposure). We used these results in combination with publicly available ecotoxicity data to derive environmental quality standards (EQS). These EQS were ultimately used in a single-substance and mixture risk assessment for the Belgian part of the North Sea. Acute toxicity testing revealed that immobilization is a more sensitive endpoint than mortality, with 96-h median effect concentration (EC50) values of 6.9, 7.2, 25, and 120 µg L–1 for clothianidin, thiacloprid, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam, respectively. In addition, the larval development tests resulted in 7-d no-observed-effect concentrations (NOECs) of 2.5, 2.7, 4.2, and >99 µg L–1 for clothianidin, thiacloprid, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam, respectively. The derived saltwater annual average (AA-)EQS were 0.05, 0.0048, 0.002, and 0.016 µg L–1 for clothianidin, thiacloprid, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam, respectively. Finally, the risk characterization revealed some exceedances of the AA-EQS in Belgian harbors for imidacloprid (number of exceedances, n = 2/4), for thiacloprid (n = 1/4), for thiamethoxam (n = 1/4), and for the mixture of the 4 neonicotinoids (n = 4/4), but not at the open sea. At the open sea site, the toxic unit sums relative to the AA-EQS were 0.72 and 0.22, suggesting no mixture risk, albeit with a relatively small margin of safety. Including short-term EC10 (96-h) values of N. spinipes for the AA-EQS derivation led to a refinement of the AA-EQS for clothianidin and thiamethoxam, suggesting their use for the AA-EQS derivation because one of the overarching goals of the definition of EQS is to protect species at the population level.

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