Effects of the herbicide 2,4-D on the growth of nine aquatic macrophytes

J.D.M. Belgers, R.J. van Lieverloo, L.J.T. van der Pas, P.J. van den Brink

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43 Citations (Scopus)


A study was conducted to determine the effect of the herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) on nine submersed macrophyte species. The first objective of the study was to investigate the sensitivity of various endpoints in macrophyte toxicity tests. A second objective was to investigate the implications of hormesis in the risk assessment of 2,4-D. 2,4-D was applied in concentrations ranging from 10 to 3000 ¿g L-1. Endpoints determined 4 weeks after the start of the treatment were based on shoot and root growth in water. The EC50s were calculated using models excluding and including a parameter describing hormesis. Results indicated that the total length of the roots can be regarded as a sensitive endpoint for the response of a macrophyte to 2,4-D. For the tested rooted macrophyte species, the EC50 values for the length and number of the roots ranged from 92 to 997 and from 112 to 1807 ¿g L-1, respectively. At low concentrations (10 and 30 ¿g L-1), stimulation of some of the endpoints (hormesis) was found for several of the species. Although hormesis may have ecological implications, its importance for the ecological risk assessment of 2,4-D in this study was limited.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-268
JournalAquatic Botany
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • myriophyllum-spicatum l
  • vell. verdcourt
  • sensitivity
  • hormesis
  • toxicity
  • culture
  • plants
  • algae
  • 2,4-d
  • ec50

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