Outdoor experimental ponds (mesocosms) designed for long-term ecotoxicological studies in aquatic environment

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1996
Authors:T. Caquet, Lagadic, L., Jonot, O., Baturo, W., Kilanda, M., Simon, P., Le Bras, S., Echaubard, M., Ramade, F.
Journal:Ecotoxicology and environmental safety
Pagination:125 - 133
Date Published:1996
ISBN Number:0147-6513
Keywords:animals, Biomass, fresh water, Guidelines, lice, Lymnaea, Nitrates/toxicity, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Species Specificity, water

Outdoor artificial ponds (mesocosms) of 12 m3 were designed for long-term ecotoxicological studies. Sediment, macrophytes (Typha angustifolia and Elodea canadensis), and free and caged freshwater snails [Lymnaea palustris (Muller)] and wood lice (Asellus aquaticus L.) were collected in nearby natural ecosystems and introduced in the mesocosms. Sixty goldfish (Carassius auratus L.) were caged in each pond. Introduced species developed and reproduced in every mesocosm. Animal species (mainly insects and amphibians) spontaneously colonized the ponds, developed, and reproduced. The resulting communities qualitatively resemble those living in natural lentic systems in the surrounding area. Homogenity in physical and chemical conditions and in abundance of phytoplanktonic, periphytic, and macroinvertebrate communities between the different mesocosms was assessed during the stabilization period (8 months). Except for periphyton biomass, no divergent evolution was observed between the ponds. Mesocosm water was slightly eutrophic, alkaline (mean pH: 8.47 +/- 0.09), and moderately hard and mineralized. The homogenous and realistic environmental conditions and high ecological representativity of the outdoor experimental ponds were suitable for extensive ecotoxicological studies. Considerations on the choice and origin of introduced species and on possible interactive effects of the transfer of organisms from natural environments, maintainance conditions, and pollutant exposure are discussed.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith