Evaluating the necessity of additional aquatic plant testing by comparing the sensitivities of different species
At present, at least three and up to five plant species are required to assess the potential risks of herbicides to non-target aquatic plants. Several regulatory authorities are considering whether there should be further requirements based on concerns about the possible selectivity of herbicides (e.g., specific modes of action against dicotyledonous plants). The relative sensitivity of a range of aquatic plants is assessed in our work in order to evaluate the implications of differences in species sensitivity for aquatic risk assessment of herbicides. We therefore present results from ecotoxicological tests performed at Syngenta Crop Protection AG on various aquatic plants and compare them to available studies and results in literature. The criterion used for sensitivity ranking is the EC50 (median effect concentration) value, which allows a better comparison of values from different testing methods and conditions. The overall results obtained in the present work show that the aquatic risk assessment procedure for herbicides based on Lemna sp. and algae is sufficiently protective while identifying potential toxicity to non-target plants. Only few exceptions concerning herbicides with selective modes of action (e.g., auxin simulators) may require additional species testing for proper risk assessment.
Keywordssensitivity aquatic plants herbicides risk assessment
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