Interactions between nutrients and organic micro-pollutants in shallow freshwater ecosystems

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Effects of nutrients and toxicants in aquatic ecosystems may interact in several ways. Here, we (a) present an overview of reported mechanisms that may play a role in these interactions, and (b) compare these reported mechanisms against the results of a suite of experiments performed with organic micro-pollutants in outdoor and indoor microcosms representing shallow lakes dominated either by phytoplankton or by macrophytes. The presence of macrophytes affected the fate of the persistent hydrophobic organic chemicals (triphenyltin, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and polychlorinated biphenyls) in particular. Differences in community structure affected indirect treatment-related effects and recoverability of affected populations in the lambda-cyhalothrin and TPT experiments high nutrient status. Four major interaction categories reported in the literature are I) dilution of pollutants by biomass, II) impact on transport and cycling of pollutants, III) direct toxicant¿food interactions, and IV) indirect toxicant¿food interactions. Results of our experiments showed interactions in all four categories (I, II, III, and IV). However, it is concluded that risks of organic micro-pollutants cannot be adapted to (or compensated for?) these four mechanism because of time and space dependent feedback in shallow water communities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)436-442
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • insecticide lambda-cyhalothrin
  • simulating floodplain lakes
  • triphenyltin acetate
  • aquatic ecosystems
  • sediment quality
  • risk-assessment
  • daphnia-magna
  • fate
  • food
  • eutrophication


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