Effects of Roundup formulations, nutrient addition, and Western mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) on aquatic communities
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Aquatic communities can be affected by herbicides, nutrient addition, and non-native fish species. We conducted a mesocosm experiment to examine the direct and interactive effects of three stressors: (1) Roundup formulations (Roundup Weed and Grass Killer® and Roundup Poison Ivy and Tough Brush Killer Plus®), (2) nutrient addition, and (3) the presence of the non-native Western mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis), on experimental pond communities. Roundup formulations had the most widespread effects on the zooplankton community, but effects varied between formulations and among taxa. The only significant effect of nutrient addition was a lowering of Daphnia abundance in the nutrient addition treatments. The abundances of Daphnia, mid-sized cladocerans, and total zooplankton were lowered by mosquitofish, but no other taxa showed significant mosquitofish effects. We found several two-way and three-way interactions among the stressors, but these varied among zooplankton taxa. Chlorophyll a levels were higher with nutrient addition but were not significantly affected by Roundup formulation or mosquitofish. Our results suggest toxicity of Roundup formulations varies among taxa, and Roundup formulations differ in their toxicity to zooplankton, but with no cascading effects on primary producers. In addition, interactions among stressors affected the zooplankton community.
KeywordsCladocera Fertilizer Gambusia affinis Glyphosate Herbicide Mosquitofish Phytoplankton Zooplankton
We thank two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on the manuscript. Mosquitofish were collected under permit from the Ohio Division of Wildlife. This experiment was approved by the Denison University Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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