Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 30, pp 30463–30474 | Cite as

Toxicity evaluation and environmental risk assessment of 2-methyl-4-chlorophenoxy acetic acid (MCPA) on non-target aquatic macrophyte Hydrilla verticillata

  • Hewa Pathirannahelage Athri Thathsarani Weerakoon
  • Keerthi Sri Senarathna AtapaththuEmail author
  • Hewa Bandulage Asanthi
Research Article


Aquatic plants in agricultural landscapes play a vital role in maintaining the ecological integrity within the aquatic systems while facing an array of disturbances. Among them, information on herbicide exposure on non-target aquatic plants is scarce. The present study was designed to fill this information gap by detecting the impacts of 2-methyl-4-chlorophenoxyacetic acid (MCPA) on Hydrilla verticillata using morpho-anatomical and physiological biomarkers and assessing the environmental risk of MCPA to the non-target environment. H. verticillata was exposed to different MCPA concentrations (10, 100, 500, 1000 μg/L) and control (0 μg/L) for 7 days. At the end of the experiment, plant growth, pigments, H2O2 content, peroxidase activity (POD) and plant anatomy were compared. The environmental risk was assessed using predicted environmental concentration/predicted no effect concentration (PEC:PNEC) ratio, hazard quotient (HQ) and hazard index (HI). Control plants exhibited the highest growth, and a growth decline was noted in parallel to MCPA exposure, where a similar trend was detected for the plant pigment contents. MCPA induced chlorosis and oxidative stress in H. verticillata. Risk analysis detected high values for PEC:PNEC ratios (3–9), HQ (1.92–5.79) and HI (28.15). MCPA-exposed H. verticillata could recover once those plants received natural conditions. Overall, present findings showed the negative impacts of MCPA on non-target aquatic plant H. verticillata. These findings will be useful to clarify the interaction between agrochemicals and non-target aquatic plants. Such information would benefit to decide the criteria in aquatic ecosystem management.


Chlorosis Environmental risk assessment MCPA Oxidative stress H. verticillata 



The authors wish to acknowledge the Head of the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Sciences and Technology, University of Ruhuna for providing facilities for microscopic analysis.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Limnology and Water Technology, Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Sciences and TechnologyUniversity of RuhunaMataraSri Lanka

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