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Effects of a Simulated Agricultural Runoff Event on Sediment Toxicity in a Managed Backwater Wetland

Lizotte, Richard E., Jr., Shields, F. Douglas, Jr., Testa, Sam, III
Water, air, and soil pollution 2012 v.223 no.8 pp. 5375
Azteca, Hyalella azteca, agricultural runoff, animal growth, atrazine, environmental fate, land management, metolachlor, parathion-methyl, permethrin, pesticide mixtures, sediment contamination, sediments, survival rate, toxicity, wetlands
We examined the effects of an amended mixture of three pesticides, atrazine (72.7 g), S-metolachlor (54.5 g), and permethrin (both cis and trans isomers; 11.4 g), on 10-day sediment toxicity to Hyalella azteca in a managed natural backwater wetland after a simulated agricultural runoff event. Sediment samples were collected at 10, 40, 100, 300, and 500 m from inflow 13 days prior to amendment and 1, 5, 12, 22, and 36 days post-amendment. Background pesticide concentrations ranged from <1 to 977, <1 to 119, and <1 to 2 μg kg⁻¹, for atrazine, S-metolachlor, and permethrin, respectively. Average post-amendment atrazine and S-metolachlor were 2,915–3,927 and 3–20 μg kg⁻¹, respectively at 10–40 m and 538–872 and <1 μg kg⁻¹, respectively at 300–500 m. Average post-amendment permethrin was 65–200 μg kg⁻¹ at 10–40 m and 1–10 μg kg⁻¹ at 300–500 m. H. azteca 10-day survival varied spatially and temporally up to 100 m from inflow. Animal growth, independent of survival, was reduced 40 and 100 m from inflow on day 36, showing continued sediment toxicity of up to 100 m from inflow more than 1 month after amendment. Animal survival and growth were unaffected at 300 and 500 m from inflow throughout the study period. Correlations of pesticide concentrations and H. azteca responses indicated that observed sediment toxicity was primarily from permethrin with potential additional synergistic toxicity from atrazine and methyl parathion. Study results indicate that natural backwater wetlands can be managed to ameliorate pesticide mixture 10-day sediment toxicity to H. azteca within 300 m of inflow and smaller wetlands (≤100 m) may require several months of effluent retention to mitigate effects.