Impact of 17α-ethinylestradiol on the plankton in freshwater microcosms-II: Responses of phytoplankton and the interrelation within the ecosystem

Burkhard A. Hense, Wolfgang Jaser, Gerhard Welzl, Gerd Pfister, Gabriele F. Wöhler-Moorhoff, Karl Werner Schramm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Effects of 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE) on phytoplankton were investigated in a lentic freshwater microcosm study. Treatment with EE caused a shift in the species composition as shown by a principle response curve. Whereas densities of Cyanophyceae, Dinophyceae, and Chrysophyceae increased, those of Conjugatophyceae and Cryptophyceae decreased. Furthermore, relative density of Chlorophyceae declined after EE treatment. The changes showed taxa-specific time dependencies. Some species, especially the cyanobacterium Cyanobium parvum, bloomed after the treatment. EE treatment promoted total abundance and biomass of phytoplankton. Although the number of species per microcosm increased, the diversity indices (Shannon-Wiener, Simpson) tended to lower values. The ecosystem only partly recovered during the investigated post-treatment period of 6 weeks. Probably at least the main effects were caused indirectly, i.e. via decrease of grazing zooplankton (crustaceans). The relation of EE to variation of phytoplankton composition was closer than those of other abiotic factors, indicating the relevance of its impact. EE also probably affected nutrients of the phytoplankton.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-465
Number of pages13
JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Volume69
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • 17α-ethinylestradiol
  • Aquatic microcosms
  • Indirect effects
  • Phytoplankton

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