Journal article Open Access

Temperature and salinity effects on the toxicity of common pesticides to the grass shrimp, Palaemonetes pugio

DeLorenzo, Marie E.; Wallace, Sarah C.; Danese, Loren E.; Baird, Thomas D.

This study investigated the effects of increased temperature and salinity, two potential impacts of global climate change, on the toxicity of two common pesticides to the estuarine grass shrimp, Palaemonetes pugio. Larval and adult grass shrimp were exposed to the fungicide chlorothalonil and the insecticide Scourge® under standard toxicity test conditions, a 10°C increase in temperature, a 10 ppt increase in salinity, and a combined increased temperature and salinity exposure. Toxicity of the fungicide chlorothalonil increased with temperature and salinity. Toxicity of the insecticide Scourge® also increased with temperature; while increased salinity reduced Scourge® toxicity, but only in adult shrimp. These findings suggest that changes in temperature and salinity may alter the toxicity of certain pesticides, and that the nature of the effect will depend on both the organism's life stage and the chemical contaminant. Standard toxicity bioassays may not be predictive of actual pesticide toxicity under variable environmental conditions, and testing under a wider range of exposure conditions could improve the accuracy of chemical risk assessments.

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