Thiacloprid-induced toxicity influenced by nutrients: Evidence from in situ bioassays in experimental ditches

S. H. Barmentlo, E. M. Parmentier, G. R. de Snoo, M. G. Vijver

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review


Many studies show that neonicotinoid insecticides cause toxicity to aquatic invertebrates. Some studies report that insecticide toxicity may differ in combination with other agrochemicals under realistic field conditions. To explore such altered toxicity further, we aimed to determine the single and combined effects of environmentally relevant levels of the neonicotinoid thiacloprid and nutrients on different endpoints of 4 aquatic invertebrate species. Animals were exposed to these agrochemicals using a caged experiment within experimental ditches. We observed thiacloprid-induced toxicity for 2 crustaceans, Daphnia magna and Asellus aquaticus, and for 1 out of 2 tested insect species, Cloeon dipterum. We observed no toxic effects for Chironomus riparius at the time-weighted average test concentration of 0.51g thiacloprid/L. For D. magna, the observed toxicity, expressed as the lowest-observed-effect concentration (LOEC), on growth and reproduction was present at thiacloprid concentrations that were 2456-fold lower than laboratory-derived LOEC values. This shows that these species, when exposed under natural conditions, may exhibit neonicotinoid-induced toxic stress. Contrary to the low nutrient treatment, such toxicity was often not observed under nutrient-enriched conditions. This was likely attributable to the increased primary production that allowed for compensatory feeding. These findings warrant the inclusion of different feeding regimes in laboratory experiments to retrieve the best estimates of neonicotinoid-induced toxicity in the natural environment. Environ Toxicol Chem 2018;37:1907-1915. (c) 2018 SETAC
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1907-1915
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Agrochemical Crustacean Fertilizer Insect Multiple stressors Neonicotinoid daphnia-magna mayfly nymphs communities sublethal responses mixtures quality impact Environmental Sciences & Ecology Toxicology

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