Poster on systemic fungicides’ effects on aquatic leaf litter breakdown presented at SETAC Europe Barcelona 2015

In this post, our student blogger Kym shares her poster “Systemic Fungicides Can Alter the Quality of Plant Material for Aquatic Shredders” that she presented during this year’s SETAC Europe Meeting.

Tree nursery at our field station (photo by J.P. Zubrod)

Tree nursery at our field station (photo by J.P. Zubrod)

“Last year, some of the black alder trees of our experimental nursery received a treatment with systemic fungicides, i.e., substances that penetrate plants through root-uptake and remain active within the vegetation, to simulate contamination of these plants due to agricultural activity (e.g., via spray drift). At the time of abscission, leaves were picked from the trees and used to assess if the food quality of this plant material for the amphipod model shredder Gammarus fossarum may be altered when compared to untreated leaves. Unexpectedly, the shredders preferred leaf material from treated trees but only following a microbial colonization of 14 days. As these observations are in stark contrast to effects observed for fungicide exposure via water, further research on this novel pathway seems necessary.

For more info, see our poster, which can be downloaded via the link below:

Poster Systemic Fungicides SETAC Barcelona 2015