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Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987)

Use of carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios to assess the effects of environmental contaminants on aquatic food webs.


PMID 16199117

Abstract

In this study, the value of carbon (delta13C) and nitrogen (delta15N) stable isotope ratios were determined in nymphs of a top-predator, the common backswimmer (Notonecta glauca L.), collected in 18 m3 outdoor freshwater mesocosms used to assess the fate and ecotoxicological effects of a diphenyl ether herbicide, fomesafen, applied alone or in combination with Agral 90 (mixture of polyethoxylated derivatives of nonylphenol). Both treatments had a negative effect on delta13C values which may reflect changes in carbon fluxes across food webs in the treated ponds associated with a shift in phytoplankton structure. A decrease in delta15N values was observed in the nymphs collected in mixture-treated ponds, which was presumably due to an increase in the abundance of rotifers and Chironominae larvae in these ponds. These preliminary results indicate that stable isotope ratios may be used as shortcuts to detect qualitative or quantitative shifts in the structure of aquatic food webs caused by pollutants.

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Fomesafen, PESTANAL®, analytical standard
C15H10ClF3N2O6S