Determining Demographic Effects of Cypermethrin in the Marine Copepod Acartia tonsa: Stage-Specific Short Tests Versus Life-Table Tests
Short-term lethal and sublethal responses of the calanoid copepod Acartia tonsa to cypermethrin were compared with life-table responses to assess whether or not it is necessary to use exposure periods longer than 5 days to estimate demographic responses to stress. More specifically, by limiting exposure periods to sensitive age classes (eggs, nauplii, copepodids, and adults) and including measurements on survival, egg production, and feeding rates, it was possible to derive a short test design of similar sensitivity and ecological relevance as full life-table tests. Short-term exposures to cypermethrin reduced copepodid's feeding rates at concentrations well below those affecting egg production rates and survival of eggs and adult stages. Lethal effects on naupliar stages occurred at lower concentrations than any other effect observed on eggs and adults. Life-table sensitivities of the intrinsic rate of increase (rm) to cypermethrin were similar to those observed in short-term exposures. More specifically, exposure to cypermethrin impaired rm responses at concentrations (7.4 ng L−1) that also affected feeding and naupliar responses. Our results show that by quantifying and separating combined toxic effects on ecologically relevant individual life-history traits, it is possible to develop toxicity test designs of similar ecological relevance yet that are less labor-intensive and costly than existing demographic tests.
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