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Light and temperature influence on diuron bioaccumulation and toxicity in biofilms


Variations of temperature and photoperiod throughout different seasons can affect aquatic communities such as biofilms. Biofilms, generally present at the base of trophic chains in freshwaters, are also subject to organic contamination, and are especially affected by herbicides. Many studies have investigated the effect and interactions of herbicides and environmental factors on biofilms, but never with a toxicokinetic point of view. The objective of this study was to assess structural and functional changes in biofilms exposed to diuron, and to link them with contaminant accumulation, under the influence of temperature and light variations. To this aim, biofilms were exposed to all possible combinations of three concentrations (0, 5 and 50 µg L−1) of diuron, two temperatures (10 and 26 °C), and two light/dark photoperiods (16/8, 10/14), for durations of 0, 1 and 3 days. Diuron accumulation in biofilms was quantified and structural descriptors (protein and polysaccharide contents, dry weight) and functional endpoints (photosynthetic and enzymatic activities) were analyzed. The results obtained mainly highlighted the influence of temperature on diuron bioaccumulation and the associated toxic impact on biofilms. Bioaccumulation in biofilms exposed during three days at 10 °C, at the highest diuron concentration, was in average 1.4 times higher than bioaccumulation on biofilms exposed to 26 °C. Accordingly, the photosynthetic yield was more inhibited at lower than at higher temperatures. Temperature was also the highest impacting factor for metabolism regulation; for example, at 26 °C after three days of exposure, polysaccharide production was boosted under both photoperiods tested.

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This study was carried out with financial support from the French National Research Agency (ANR) in the framework of the Investments for the future Programme, within the Cluster of Excellence COTE (ANR-10-LABX-45).

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Correspondence to Betty Chaumet.

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Chaumet, B., Mazzella, N., Neury-Ormanni, J. et al. Light and temperature influence on diuron bioaccumulation and toxicity in biofilms. Ecotoxicology (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10646-020-02166-8

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  • Freshwater periphyton
  • Herbicide
  • Microbial ecotoxicology
  • Seasons
  • Toxicokinetics–toxicodynamics