Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 26, pp 27259–27267 | Cite as

Toxicity of atrazine and the products of its homogeneous photocatalytic degradation on the aquatic organisms Lemna minor and Daphnia magna

  • Šárka Klementová
  • Lucie Hornychová
  • Michal ŠorfEmail author
  • Jana Zemanová
  • David Kahoun
Research Article


Usage of atrazine, a widely used herbicide, is now banned in many countries. Although forbidden to use, significant concentration of this herbicide is still present in the environment. The study focused not only on the toxicity of atrazine itself but also on products of homogeneous photocatalytic degradation. Such degradation was very fast in given conditions (sufficient amount of Fe(III) in the reaction system)—more than 95% of the initial amount of atrazine was eliminated after 30 min of irradiation. The toxicity of atrazine and its photodegradation products were examined on the aquatic plant Lemna minor and microcrustacean Daphnia magna in both acute and chronic tests. While the growth inhibition assay of atrazine for Lemna minor revealed EC50 value of 128.4 μg dm−3, the herbicide did not affect Daphnia in the acute toxicity assay. A degradation product, desethyl-atrazine, has been demonstrated to have a pronounced negative effect on the plant growth. Both atrazine and desethyl-atrazine affect negatively the number of juveniles and number of clutches of Daphnia magna in the chronic toxicity assay. Photocatalytic degradation lowers the negative effect of atrazine in Daphnia magna while photodegradation products still negatively affect Lemna growth.


Herbicide Triazine Desethyl-atrazine Photodegradation products Acute toxicity Chronic toxicity Daphnia magna Lemna minor 



We thank Kateřina Kocourková for her help with Daphnia experiments. We also thank three reviewers who provided valuable comments.

Funding information

This study was financially supported by the Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia and by the project PROFISH CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/16_019/0000869. The project is financed by European Regional Development Fund in the operational programme VVV MŠMT.

Supplementary material

11356_2019_5710_MOESM1_ESM.docx (68 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 17 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Science, Department of ChemistryUniversity of South BohemiaČeské BudějoviceCzech Republic
  2. 2.Faculty of Science, Department of Ecosystem BiologyUniversity of South BohemiaČeské BudějoviceCzech Republic
  3. 3.Faculty of AgriSciences, Department of Zoology, Fisheries, Hydrobiology and ApicultureMendel University in BrnoBrnoCzech Republic

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