Effects of a herbicide and copper mixture on the quality of marine plankton

Valentina Filimonova, Marleen De Troch, Fernando Gonçalves, João C. Marques, Sérgio M. Marques, Ana M.M. Gonçalves, Frederik De Laender

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Pesticides and metals are often used in agriculture and are therefore often simultaneously discharged to nearby estuarine and marine areas. The effects of this organic-inorganic chemical mixture on food quality of aquatic organisms are currently unknown. In this study we test if a mixture of copper (inorganic) and the herbicide Primextra® Gold TZ (organic) affects the quality of the diatom Thalassiosira weissflogii and the copepod Acartia tonsa – two key species that fuel the local food-web. We quantified quality (i.e. energy content as food for the next trophic level) in terms of fatty acids, proteins and thiobarbituric acid reacting substances. We found non-additive effects (positive and negative) of the metal-herbicide mixture on the diatom and copepod species. In general, nutritionally important biochemical parameters of Acartia tonsa were most sensitive to the chemical stressors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-17
Number of pages9
JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018


  • Biomarkers
  • Fatty acids
  • Food quality
  • Generalized linear model
  • Plankton
  • Species sensitivity
  • Copepoda/drug effects
  • Plankton/chemistry
  • Herbicides/toxicity
  • Diatoms/drug effects
  • Animals
  • Atrazine/toxicity
  • Copper/toxicity
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical/toxicity
  • Drug Combinations
  • Acetamides/toxicity


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