, Volume 643, Issue 1, pp 129-138

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Combined and single effects of pesticide carbaryl and toxic Microcystis aeruginosa on the life history of Daphnia pulicaria

  • S. CerbinAffiliated withNetherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW)Department of Hydrobiology, Faculty of Biology, Adam Mickiewicz University Email author 
  • , M. H. S. KraakAffiliated withDepartment of Aquatic Ecology and Ecotoxicology, IBED, University of Amsterdam
  • , P. de VoogtAffiliated withDepartment of Earth Surface Processes and Materials, IBED, University of Amsterdam
  • , P. M. VisserAffiliated withDepartment of Aquatic Microbiology, IBED, University of Amsterdam
  • , E. Van DonkAffiliated withNetherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW)


The combined influence of a pesticide (carbaryl) and a cyanotoxin (microcystin LR) on the life history of Daphnia pulicaria was investigated. At the beginning of the experiments animals were pulse exposed to carbaryl for 24 h and microcystins were delivered bound in Microcystis’ cells at different, sub-lethal concentrations (chronic exposure). In order to determine the actual carbaryl concentrations in the water LC–MS/MS was used. For analyses of the cyanotoxin concentration in Daphnia’s body enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used. Individual daphnids were cultured in a flow-through system under constant light (16 h of light: 8 h of dark), temperature (20°C), and food conditions (Scenedesmus obliquus, 1 mg of C l−1). The results showed that in the treatments with carbaryl egg numbers per female did not differ significantly from controls, but the mortality of newborns increased significantly. Increasing microcystin concentrations significantly delayed maturation, reduced size at first reproduction, number of eggs, and newborns. The interaction between carbaryl and Microcystis was highly significant. Animals matured later and at a smaller size than in controls. The number of eggs per female was reduced as well. Moreover, combined stressors caused frequent premature delivery of offspring with body deformations such as dented carapax or an undeveloped heart. This effect is concluded to be synergistic and could not be predicted from the effects of the single stressors.


Daphnia Pesticides Cyanobacteria Microcystin LR Multiple stressors Synergistic effects