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EC number: 215-572-9
CAS number: 1332-65-6
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
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