AME 50:91-102 (2007) - doi:10.3354/ame01133
Lotic biofilm community structure and pesticide tolerance along a contamination gradient in a vineyard area
Ursula Dorigo1, Christophe Leboulanger2,3, Annette Bérard1, Agnès Bouchez2, Jean-François Humbert2,4, Bernard Montuelle1,*
ABSTRACT: We investigated the environmental impact of diffuse pesticide pollution on natural river biofilms in the River Morcille, France, during 2 seasons in pristine and contaminated stations. Prokaryotic and eukaryotic community compositions were assessed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, while microalgal community composition was determined by high pressure liquid chromatography pigment analysis. The sensitivity of microphytobenthos to the herbicide Diuron was investigated in the laboratory by short-term photosynthesis inhibition assays. Spatial changes in prokaryotic and eukaryotic species compositions were found in spring and in winter. Community structures were significantly different between contaminated areas and those that were uncontaminated or less contaminated. Associated changes in biodiversity were not found. Community tolerance towards Diuron (based on EC50 values for photosynthesis) was significantly lower in upstream than in downstream photoautotrophic organisms. Pesticide concentration increased along the downstream gradient. These results strongly suggest contamination-driven changes in biofilm community structure and in the tolerance of the photoautotrophic community, confirming the Pollution-Induced Community Tolerance (PICT) hypothesis.
KEY WORDS: Biofilms · Community structure · Community tolerance · Pesticides · Vineyard area
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