John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Assessing the metabolic potential of phototrophic communities in surface water environments: Fludioxonil as a model compound

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Differences are often apparent in the observed rates of degradation between laboratory water‐sediment studies and outdoor studies in surface water environments. Indeed, previous work has shown that including phototrophic communities in laboratory systems can result in the enhancement of degradation, when compared against systems that exclude phototrophs, incubated in darkness. In phototroph‐inclusive systems, a range of metabolic processes and community effects are absent in the standard laboratory systems: metabolism by macrophytes, algae, and periphyton, as well as enhancement of bacterial and fungal communities by macrophyte root structures, algal biofilms, and planktonic algae. Here, the authors demonstrate the metabolic capability of algae and macrophytes in isolation from bacterial and fungal communities. The authors have isolated subcommunities and individual species from complex, phototroph‐inclusive test systems, and demonstrated significant degradation of the fungicide fludioxonil in their presence. They have also shown the intrinsic metabolic competence of Elodea canadensis as well as algae from three phyla [Chlorophyta, Cyanophyta, and Bacillariophyta (diatoms)], demonstrating that phototrophic communities have the potential to play a direct role in metabolism in surface water environments. Thus, it seems that current laboratory test systems are failing to consider the role of active, competent organisms that are likely to be involved in the degradation of crop protection products in surface water environments. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. © 2012 SETAC

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