, Volume 15, Issue 7, pp 601–608 | Cite as

Modeling responses of Daphnia magna to pesticide pulse exposure under varying food conditions: intrinsic versus apparent sensitivity

  • Barry J. Pieters
  • Tjalling Jager
  • Michiel H. S. Kraak
  • Wim Admiraal


Recent studies showed that limiting food conditions resulted in either increased or decreased sensitivity of Daphnia magna to toxicants. It remained unclear whether these contrasting food-dependent alterations in toxicity resulted from differences in intrinsic sensitivity of the daphnids or from changes in toxicokinetics and resource allocation. It is hypothesized here that, if food level only affects accumulation kinetics and resource allocation, then the intrinsic sensitivity to this toxicant should be the same for all food regimes. This hypothesis was investigated using the DEBtox model, which is based on the theory of Dynamic Energy Budgets. We examined results of two recently conducted life-cycle studies on the combined effects of food level and a pulsed exposure to the pyrethroid insecticide fenvalerate (FV) on D. magna. The model described the effects of the time-varying exposure well, and indicated that when the animals did not die from exposure to FV, full reversibility of toxic effects was possible, allowing a complete recovery. Results revealed furthermore that the data from both studies could be described by the same NECs for survival and assimilation, killing rate and tolerance concentration (132 (49.2–228) × 10−6 μg/L, 0 (0–1.18 × 10−5) μg/L, 74.4 (55.6–96.4) L (μg d)−1 and 5.39 (2.72–18.5) × 10−3 μg/L, respectively). It is therefore concluded that food-dependent FV toxicity can be explained by altered toxicokinetics and resource allocation, but not by changes in the intrinsic sensitivity of the daphnids. This study implies that the effect of pesticide application in the field depends on the trophic state of the receiving water body, but also that full recovery of survivors is possible after FV application.


Effects assessment DEBtox model Pesticides Food limitation Time-varying exposure 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry J. Pieters
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Tjalling Jager
    • 3
  • Michiel H. S. Kraak
    • 2
  • Wim Admiraal
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of System EcotoxicologyCentre for Environmental Research (UFZ)LeipzigGermany
  2. 2.Department of Aquatic Ecology and Ecotoxicology, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Theoretical BiologyVrije UniversiteitAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Laboratory for Ecological Risk Assessment (LER)National Institute for Public Health and the environment (RIVM)AmsterdamThe Netherlands

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