Effects of the fungicide metiram in outdoor freshwater microcosms: responses of invertebrates, primany producers and microbes

Lin Ronghua, L.L. Buijse-Bogdan, M. Rocha Dimitrov, P. Dohmen, Sujitra Kosol, L. Maltby, I. Roessink, J.A. Sinkeldam, H. Smidt, R.P.A. van Wijngaarden, T.C.M. Brock

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24 Citations (Scopus)


The ecological impact of the dithiocarbamate fungicide metiram was studied in outdoor freshwater microcosms, consisting of 14 enclosures placed in an experimental ditch. The microcosms were treated three times (interval 7 days) with the formulated product BAS 222 28F (Polyram®). Intended metiram concentrations in the overlying water were 0, 4, 12, 36, 108 and 324 µg a.i./L. Responses of zooplankton, macroinvertebrates, phytoplankton, macrophytes, microbes and community metabolism endpoints were investigated. Dissipation half-life (DT50) of metiram was approximately 1–6 h in the water column of the microcosm test system and the metabolites formed were not persistent. Multivariate analysis indicated treatment-related effects on the zooplankton (NOECcommunity = 36 µg a.i./L). Consistent treatment-related effects on the phytoplankton and macroinvertebrate communities and on the sediment microbial community could not be demonstrated or were minor. There was no evidence that metiram affected the biomass, abundance or functioning of aquatic hyphomycetes on decomposing alder leaves. The most sensitive populations in the microcosms comprised representatives of Rotifera with a NOEC of 12 µg a.i./L on isolated sampling days and a NOEC of 36 µg a.i./L on consecutive samplings. At the highest treatment-level populations of Copepoda (zooplankton) and the blue-green alga Anabaena (phytoplankton) also showed a short-term decline on consecutive sampling days (NOEC = 108 µg a.i./L). Indirect effects in the form of short-term increases in the abundance of a few macroinvertebrate and several phytoplankton taxa were also observed. The overall community and population level no-observed-effect concentration (NOECmicrocosm) was 12–36 µg a.i./L. At higher treatment levels, including the test systems that received the highest dose, ecological recovery of affected measurement endpoints was fast (effect period <8 weeks).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1550-1569
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • gradient gel-electrophoresis
  • insecticide dursban(r) 4e
  • active ingredient chlorpyrifos
  • polymerase-chain-reaction
  • soil bacterial community
  • 16s ribosomal-rna
  • risk-assessment
  • experimental ditches
  • plankton community
  • environmental risk


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