Periphyton bioconcentrates pesticides downstream of catchment dominated by agricultural land use Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Periphyton provides important ecosystem services in aquatic environments, including supporting diverse consumers. We studied pesticide bioconcentration in periphyton in a coastal marsh on Lake Erie. The marsh is within a protected area (Rondeau Provincial Park) but receives discharge from tributaries draining intensively farmed land. Periphyton bioconcentrated 20 pesticide chemicals above levels observed in adjacent water or sediment. Average bioconcentration factors ranged from 12 times for the herbicide dicamba to 6864 times for the fungicide boscalid on a dry-weight basis. Bioconcentration factors were not linearly related to pesticides' log Kow, log Koc, or water solubility (simple linear regressions, p > 0.43). The removal of pesticides from ambient water represents another valuable ecosystem service provided by periphyton. However, we caution that bioconcentration of pesticides in periphyton provides a mechanism through which contemporary and legacy pesticides may enter wetland food webs.


  • Rooney, RC
  • Davy, C
  • Gilbert, J
  • Prosser, Ryan
  • Robichaud, C
  • Sheedy, C

publication date

  • February 2020