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Toxicity of the herbicide flurochloridone to the aquatic plants Ceratophyllum demersum and Lemna minor

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As a new and efficient selective pre-emergence herbicide, flurochloridone (FLC) has been widely promoted in recent years but readily results in residues in nature. As the primary producers and restorers of the water environment, aquatic plants are at risk of FLC exposure. In the present research, we studied the phytotoxicity of FLC in Lemna minor and Ceratophyllum demersum. The physiological and growth responses of these two aquatic plants exposed to different concentrations of FLC (0, 20, 100, 300, 1000, and 2000 μg/L) were measured. The results showed that FLC (≥ 20 μg/L) could cause serious photosynthesis pigment damage and bleaching in C. demersum and L. minor. Significant oxidative damage was observed in L. minor at 20 μg/L FLC, while there was no severe oxidative damage in C. demersum. At 100–300 μg/L FLC, peroxidase (POD) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) were activated to scavenge free radicals in L. minor, while POD acted as a protective enzyme in C. demersum. At higher concentrations of FLC (≥ 1000–2000 μg/L), L. minor reached less than healthy stability through the regulation of the antioxidant enzyme system and the chlorophyll a/b value. POD, SOD, and protein content returned to normal levels, and the growth parameters increased. However, in C. demersum, the enzymes POD and SOD and soluble protein were damaged, and oxidative stress reached the highest level at 1000–2000 μg/L FLC. Taken together, our results suggested that when treated with FLC, L. minor was more sensitive at lower doses (20 μg/L) and more adaptive at higher doses (1000–2000 μg/L) than C. demersum.

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This research was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31270410, No. 30970303), the Special Foundation of National Science and Technology Basic Research (2013FY112300), and the Scientific Research Project of Hubei Province Environmental Protection Department (2014HB07).

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Correspondence to Jianan Zhou or Zhonghua Wu.

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FLC was phytotoxic to aquatic plants L. minor and C. demersum in acute exposure experiments.

FLC caused serious bleaching of L. minor and C. demersum at 20 μg/L.

Compared with C. demersum, L. minor was more sensitive at lower doses of FLC (20 μg/L) and more adaptive at higher doses (1000–2000 μg/L).

Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

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Zhou, J., Wu, Z., Yu, D. et al. Toxicity of the herbicide flurochloridone to the aquatic plants Ceratophyllum demersum and Lemna minor. Environ Sci Pollut Res 27, 3923–3932 (2020).

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  • Submerged plants
  • Floating plants
  • Photosynthesis pigments
  • Bleaching herbicide