Effects of time-variable exposure regimes of the insecticide chlorpyrifos on freshwater invertebrate communities in microcosms

M.I. Zafar, R. van Wijngaarden, I. Roessink, P.J. van den Brink

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11 Citations (Scopus)


The present study compared the effects of different time-variable exposure regimes having the same time-weighted average (TWA) concentration of the organophosphate insecticide chlorpyrifos on freshwater invertebrate communities to enable extrapolation of effects across exposure regimes. The experiment was performed in outdoor microcosms by introducing three different regimes: a single application of 0.9mg active ingredients (a.i.)/L; three applications of 0.3 mg a.i./L, with a time interval of 7 d; and continuous exposure to 0.1 mg a.i./L for 21 d. Measurements showed that the TWA21d concentration in the continuous-exposure treatment (0.098mg/L) was slightly lower than in the three-application (0.116 mg/L) and single-application (0.126 mg/L) treatments. The application of chlorpyrifos resulted in decreased abundances in the arthropod community, with the largest adverse effects reported for the mayfly Cloeon dipterum and cladocerans Daphnia gr. longispina and Alona sp., while smaller effects were observed for other insects, copepods, and amphipods. At the population level, however, the mayfly C. dipterum only responded to the single-application treatment, which could be explained by the toxicokinetics of chlorpyrifos in this species. At the end of the experimental period the invertebrate community showed approximately the same effect magnitude for all treatment regimes. These results suggest that for this combination of concentrations and duration of the TWA, the TWA concentration is more important for most species than the peak concentration for the assessment of long-term risks of chlorpyrifos.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1383-1394
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • active ingredient chlorpyrifos
  • outdoor experimental ditches
  • ecological risk-assessment
  • dursban(r) 4e
  • model-ecosystems
  • aquatic ecosystems
  • pulsed exposure
  • pesticides
  • responses
  • field


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