John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Evaluating aquatic invertebrate vulnerability to insecticides based on intrinsic sensitivity, biological traits and toxic mode‐of‐action

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In this study we evaluated the vulnerability of aquatic invertebrates to insecticides based on their intrinsic sensitivity and their population‐level recovery potential. The relative sensitivity of invertebrates to five different classes of insecticides was calculated at the genus, family and order levels using the acute toxicity data available in the USEPA AQUIRE database. Biological trait information was linked to the calculated relative sensitivity to evaluate correlations between traits and sensitivity and to calculate a vulnerability index, which combines intrinsic sensitivity and traits describing the recovery potential of populations partially exposed to insecticides (e.g. voltinism, flying strength, occurrence in drift). Our analysis shows that the relative sensitivity of arthropods depends on the insecticide mode‐of‐action. Traits such as degree of sclerotization, size and respiration type showed good correlation to sensitivity and can be used to make predictions for invertebrate taxa without a priori sensitivity knowledge. The vulnerability analysis revealed some EPT (Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, Trichoptera) taxa as vulnerable to all insecticide classes and pointed particular gastropods and bivalves as potentially vulnerable. Microcrustaceans (e.g. daphnids, copepods) showed low potential vulnerability, particularly in lentic ecosystems. The methods described here can be used for the selection of focal species to be included as part of ecological scenarios and higher‐tier risk assessments. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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