, Volume 13, Issue 7, pp 707–720 | Cite as

Seasonal Variation in Plankton Community Responses of Mesocosms Dosed with Pentachlorophenol

  • Kate J. Willis
  • Paul J. Van Den Brink
  • John D. Green


Seasonal variations in plankton community response to pentachlorophenol (PCP) were studied in four mesocosm experiments using enclosures in a small lake. The mesocosms (860 l) were dosed with single applications of technical grade PCP (0, 4, 10, 24, 36, 54, 81 and 121 μg/l PCP) and monitored for 20 days. Multivariate statistical analyses showed that plankton community taxonomic composition varied with season. In winter and spring, communities were most stable in time; species diversity and abundance were lowest in winter. Seasonally, the communities varied little with respect to the dominant species, which were the copepod Calamoecia lucasi, the alga Peridinium sp. and the rotifer Ascomorpha ovalis. The direct effects of the PCP additions varied little between seasons, but indirect effects were evident at lower treatment levels in autumn. Indirect effects were not evident in winter. Minor variations in plankton community responses to PCP with season were apparent in the following order of decreasing sensitivity; autumn ≥ winter/spring ≥ summer. At the species level, C. lucasi showed the largest response. The responses observed were greatest in autumn, with decreased abundance at PCP concentrations ≥ 24 μg/l. In the other seasons, effects were observed at levels of 54 or 81μg/l and higher. Ascomorpha ovalis was the most responding rotifer in winter and spring, whereas Anuraeopsis fissa responded more strongly in autumn and summer. The dinoflagellate alga Peridinium sp. had the largest negative response in all but winter, when Dinobryon cylindricum did. Cryptomonas sp. responded positively to PCP in all seasons, increasing in abundance in the highest treatments, possibly due to reduced grazing pressure, reduced competition, or increased decomposition. The plankton community no-observed effect-concentration (NOEC) was 24–36 μg/l PCP. Results reported here suggest that the Australian and New Zealand water quality guideline values for PCP are sufficient to protect plankton communities against adverse effects.


seasonal responses plankton community copepods mesocosms PCP 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aldenberg, T., Slob, W. 1993Confidence limits for hazardous concentrations based on logistically distributed NOEC toxicity dataEcotoxicol. Environ. Saf.254863Google Scholar
  2. ANZECC water quality guidelines (2000). Australia and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council and Agricultural and Resource Management Council of Australia and New Zealand, 2000. Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality. ANZECC and ARMCANZ. ( Scholar
  3. Blinn, D.W. and Stewart, A.J. (1973). Responses of natural phytoplankton populations to treatment with simazine. Technical Report to CIBA Geigy Co. 12 ppGoogle Scholar
  4. Burns, C.W. 1991New Zealand lakes research, 1967–91N.Z. J. Mar.FW. Res.2535979Google Scholar
  5. Cooney, J.D., DeGreave, G.M., Moore, E.L., Palmer, W.D., Pollock, T.L. 1992Effects of food and water quality on culturing of Ceriodaphnia dubiaEnviron. Toxicol. Chem.1182337Google Scholar
  6. Croasdale, H., Flint, E.A. 1986Flora of New Zealand. Freshwater Algae, Chlorophyta, desmids.V.R. Ward, Government PrinterWellington, NZVol. 1.Google Scholar
  7. Crossland, N.O., Wolfe, C.J.M. 1985Fate and biological effects of pentachlorophenol in outdoor pondsEnviron. Toxicol. Chem.47386Google Scholar
  8. Donald, R.C. (1990). The selectivity of lacaustrine smelt (Retropinna retropinna R.) for limnetic Crustacea. Unpublished M.Sc Thesis, University of Waikato, Hamilton, NZ, 107 pp.Google Scholar
  9. Etheredge, M.K. (1983). The seasonal biology of phytoplankton in Lake Maratoto and Lake Rotomanuka. Unpublished M.Sc. Thesis, University of Waikato, Hamilton, NZ, 264 pp.Google Scholar
  10. Etheredge, M.K. (1987). The phytoplankton communities of nine lakes, Waikato, New Zealand. Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, University of Waikato, Hamilton, NZ, 462 pp.Google Scholar
  11. Feind, D., Zieris, F., Huber, W. 1988Effects of sodium pentachlorophenate on the ecology of a freshwater model ecosystemEnviron. Pollut.5021123Google Scholar
  12. Fisher, R.A. 1948Statistical Methods for Research Worker10Oliver and BoydEdinburgh35Google Scholar
  13. Hanazoto, T., Yasuno, M. 1987Effects of a carbamate insecticide, carbaryl, on the summer phyto- and zooplankton communities in pondsEnviron. Pollut.48145159Google Scholar
  14. Hanazoto, T., Yasuno, M. 1990Influence of time of application of an insecticide on recovery patterns of a zooplankton community in experimental pondsArch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol.197783Google Scholar
  15. Hobro, R., Willén, E. 1977Phytoplankton countings, intercalibration results and recommendations for routine workInt. Rev. Ges. Hydrobiol.6280511Google Scholar
  16. Joern, A., Hoagland, K.D. 1996In defense of whole-community bioassays for risk assessmentEnviron. Toxicol. Chem.25407409Google Scholar
  17. Kindig, A.C., Conquest, L.L., Taub, F.B. 1983Differential sensitivity of new versus mature synthetic microcosms to streptomycin sulphate treatment.Bishop, W.E.Cardwell, R.D.Heidolph, B.B. eds. Aquatic Toxicology and Hazard Assessment. Sixth Symposium, ASTM STP 802American Society for Testing and MaterialsPhiladelphia, PA193203Google Scholar
  18. Lee, D.R. 1980Reference toxicants in quality control of aquatic bioassays.Buikema, A.L.Cairns, J.,Jr. eds. Aquatic Invertebrate Bioassays, ASTM STP 715.American Society for Testing and MaterialsPhiladelphia, PA180200Google Scholar
  19. Liber, K., Kaushik, N.K., Solomon, K.R., Carey, J.H. 1992Experimental designs for aquatic mesocosm studies: a comparison of the ANOVA and regression design for assessing the impact of tetrachlorophenol on zooplankton populations in limnocorralsEnviron. Toxicol. Chem.116177Google Scholar
  20. Lowe, D.J., Green, J.D. 1987Origins and development of the lakesViner, A.B. eds. Inland Waters of New ZealandDSIR Science Information Publishing CentreWellington193203Google Scholar
  21. Norberg-King, T.J., Schmidt, S. 1993Comparison of effluent toxicity results using Ceriodaphnia dubia cultured on several dietsEnviron. Toxicol. Chem.12194555Google Scholar
  22. Peither, A., Jüttner, I., Kettrup, A., Lay, J. 1996A pond mesocosm study to determine the direct and indirect effects of lindane on a natural zooplankton communityEnviron. Pollut.934956Google Scholar
  23. Prescott, G.W. (1978). How to Know the Freshwater Algae. 3rd edn. 293 pp. The Pictured Key Nature Series. Wm. C. Brown Company Publishers Dubuque, IowaGoogle Scholar
  24. Pridmore, R. and Hewitt, J. (1982). A Guide to the Common Freshwater Algae in New Zealand. 46 pp. Water and Soil Miscellaneous Publication No. 39, WellingtonGoogle Scholar
  25. Schauerte, W., Lay, J.P., Klein, W., Korte, F. 1982Influence of 2,4,6-trichlorophenol and pentachlorophenol on the biota of aquatic systemsChemosphere117179Google Scholar
  26. Shiel, R.J. (1995). A Guide to Identification of Rotifers, Cladocerans and Copepods from Australian Inland Waters. 144 pp. Co-operative Research Centre for Freshwater Ecology Identification Guide No. 3.Google Scholar
  27. Stewart, A.J., Wetzel, R.G. 1986Cryptophytes and other microflagellates as couplers in planktonic community dynamicsArch. Hydrobiol.106115Google Scholar
  28. Swartzman, G.L., Taub, F.B., Meador, J., Huang, C., Kindig, A. 1990Modelling the effect of algal biomass on multispecies aquatic microcosms response to copper toxicityAquat. Toxicol.1793118Google Scholar
  29. Taub, F.B. 1997Unique information contributed by multispecies systems: examples from the standardized aquatic microcosmEcol. Appl.7110310Google Scholar
  30. Taub, F.B., Kindig, A.C., Meador, J.P., Swartzman, G.L. 1991Effects of seasonal succession and grazing on copper toxicity in aquatic microcosmsVerh. Int. Verein. Limnol.2422052214Google Scholar
  31. Ter Braak, C.J.F., Smilauer, P. 1998CANOCO reference manual and user’s guide to Canoco for Windows: software for canonical community ordination (version 4).Microcomputer PowerIthaca, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  32. Utermöhl, H. 1958Zur vervollkomnung der quantitative phytoplankton-methodikMitt. Int. Verein. Theoret. Ang. Limnol.9816Google Scholar
  33. Brink, P.J., Hattink, J., Bransen, F., Donk, E., Brock, T.C.M. 2000Impact of the fungicide carbendazim in freshwater microcosms. II. Zooplankton primary producers and final conclusions.Aquat. Toxicol.4825164Google Scholar
  34. Brink, P.J., Ter Braak, C.J.F. 1998Multivariate analysis of stress in experimental ecosystems by Principal Response Curves and similarity analysisAquat. Ecol.3216378Google Scholar
  35. Brink, P.J., Ter Braak, C.J.F. 1999Principal response curves: analysis of time-dependent multivariate responses to biological community stressEnviron. Toxicol. Chem.1813848Google Scholar
  36. Brink, P.J., Brink, N.W., Ter Braak, C.J.F. 2003Multivariate analysis of ecotoxicological data using ordination: demonstrations of utility on the basis of various examplesAustralas. J. Ecotoxicol.914156Google Scholar
  37. Brink, P.J., Wijngaarden, R.P.A., Lucassen, W.G.H., Brock, T.C.M., Leeuwangh, P. 1996Effects of the insecticide Dursban 4E (active ingredient chlorpyrifos) in outdoor experimental ditches: II. Invertebrate community responses and recovery.Environ. Toxicol. Chem.15114353Google Scholar
  38. Williams, D.A. 1972The comparison of several dose levels with zero dose controlBiometrics2851931Google Scholar
  39. Willis, K.J. (1999a). From single species to mesocosms: responses of freshwater copepods and their community to PCP. Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, University of Waikato, Hamilton, NZ, 191 ppGoogle Scholar
  40. Willis, K.J. 1999bAcute and chronic bioassays with New Zealand freshwater copepods using pentachlorophenolEnviron. Toxicol. Chem.18258086Google Scholar
  41. Winner, R.W., Keeling, T., Yeager, R., Farrell, M.P. 1977Effect of food type on the acute and chronic toxicity of copper to Daphnia magnaFreshwater Biol.734349Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kate J. Willis
    • 1
    • 3
  • Paul J. Van Den Brink
    • 2
  • John D. Green
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Biodiversity and Ecology ResearchUniversity of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand
  2. 2.Alterra Green World ResearchWageningen University and Research CentreWageningenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Scottish Association for Marine Science Dunstaffnage Marine LaboratoryOban, ArgyllScotland

Personalised recommendations