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Aquat Toxicol. 2000 Mar 1;48(2-3):233-250.

Impact of the fungicide carbendazim in freshwater microcosms. I. Water quality, breakdown of particulate organic matter and responses of macroinvertebrates.

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  • 1Wageningen Agricultural University, Department of Water Quality Management and Aquatic Ecology, P.O. Box 8080, 6700 DD, Wageningen, The Netherlands


Effects of chronic application of the fungicide Derosal(R) (active ingredient carbendazim) were studied in indoor macrophyte-dominated freshwater microcosms. The concentrations (0, 3.3, 33, 100, 330 and 1000 µg/l) were kept at a constant level for 4 weeks. This paper is the first of a series of two, and describes the fate of carbendazim and its effects on water quality parameters, breakdown of POM, and responses of macroinvertebrates. Carbendazim proved very persistent in the water layer. Values for t(12) varied between 6 and 25 weeks, and decreased with the treatment level. Significant effects on water quality parameters (DO, pH, alkalinity, conductivity) could not be demonstrated. After 4 weeks of incubation, the breakdown of Populus leaves was significantly slower at the two highest carbendazim concentrations. The macroinvertebrate community was seriously affected by carbendazim application, with Oligochaeta, Turbellaria, Hirudinea and some Crustacea as the most sensitive groups. The snail Bithynia decreased in numbers, but other gastropods increased in numbers. Safety factors as proposed by the Uniform Principles (European Union) for the risk assessment of pesticides, to be multiplied with toxicity data of the standard test species (Daphnia, fish, algae), appeared to ensure adequate protection of sensitive populations present in the microcosms.

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