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Diss Factsheets

Ecotoxicological information

Additional ecotoxological information

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Administrative data

additional ecotoxicological information
Type of information:
experimental study
Adequacy of study:
supporting study
2 (reliable with restrictions)
Rationale for reliability incl. deficiencies:
other: Already evaluated by the Competent Authorities for Biocides and Existing Substance Regulations.
Reason / purpose for cross-reference:
reference to other study

Data source

Reference Type:
A long-term copper exposure on freshwater ecosystem using lotic mesocosms: Primary producer community responses
Roussel, H. et al.
Bibliographic source:
Aquat Toxicol., 81(2):168-82

Materials and methods

Test material

Constituent 1
Reference substance name:
Copper sulfate
Copper sulfate

Results and discussion

Applicant's summary and conclusion

Executive summary:

Copper is commonly used as an algicide and plant herbicide in the aquatic environment. Despite of its frequent application in rivers, ponds and lakes, few studies have been performed at the ecosystem level on primary producers' communities. A long-term lotic mesocosms study was carried on, in 20m long channels, under environmentally realistic concentrations of copper (0, 5, 25 and 75 µg/L) delivered continuously for 18 months. Results showed significant effects at the 25 and 75 µg/L copper treatment levels on the phytoplankton, periphyton and macrophyte community structure. Effects on biomass and abundance were dissimilar depending on the studied community. Phytoplankton showed no abundance variation with treatment, whereas periphyton had higher biomass and macrophytes had lower coverage at 25 and 75 µg/L. Taxa richness was significantly affected for all primary producers communities at 25 and 75 µg/L. Some taxa seemed to be sensitive to copper, i.e.Cocconeis spp., Epithemia sp., Gomphonema spp., Lemna minor, Nasturtium officinaleand filamentous macroalgae. Other taxa appeared to be tolerant or facilitated by indirect effects, i.e.Leptolyngbya sp., Mougeotia sp., Nitzschia palea, Pseudanabaena sp. and Ulothrix sp. and therefore increased in the 25 and 75 µg/L treatments. Important indirect factors influenced the community responses, such as trophic interactions like decrease of grazing pressure, competition for light and nutrients and temperature favouring blue-green algae development. After 18 months of copper exposure, the no observed effect concentration at community level (NOECcommunity) for primary producers was set up at 5 or 4 µg/L, if we consider the average effective concentration, with a lowest observed effect concentration (LOECcommunity) at 25 or 20 µg/L (AEC).