Microcosm assessment of the effects of monensin, 10:2 saturated fluorotelomer carboxylic acid, and atrazine on aquatic macrophytes and responses of individuals versus assemblages
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The phytotoxicities of monensin, the 10:2 saturated fluorotelomer carboxylic acid (10:2 FTCA), and atrazine to freshwater macrophytes were investigated in three microcosm-based assessments. Both responses of plants grown as individuals in “cone-tainers” and those grown in mixed and monocultures were examined to permit comparison of the toxicological sensitivities of macrophytes under each planting design, and investigation of whether interactions between neighbours may modify plant response to an environmental contaminant. Exposures of monensin and the 10:2 FTCA at environmentally relevant concentrations were found to produce few significant effects in the higher aquatic plants across all growth conditions, thus direct comparisons of effective concentrations were not conducted. Significant differences between relative growth rates (RGR) of plant grown in assemblages versus individually indirectly indicate that over longer exposure durations toxicity may be underestimated using the individual “cone-tainer” method. RGRs and sensitivities of plants to atrazine were found to be in the same range across planting methods, demonstrating that responses of aquatic plants in the individual-test system reflected those observed in model populations and two-species communities. A lack of observed relations between plants in the mixed and monoculture tests, however, meant that the potential for modification of toxicity through plant interactions was not investigated.