The use of temperate toxicity data in tropical risk assessments has often been disputed. Previous sensitivity comparisons between temperate and tropical species, however, have not shown a consistent sensitivity difference between climatically-distinct species. Such comparisons were often limited by a small tropical toxicity dataset. In addition, differences in the taxonomic compositions of the temperate and tropical species assemblages used to construct species sensitivity distributions curves also hampered direct comparisons (e.g. type and ration of crustaceans and insects). The aim of the present study was to compare the sensitivity of temperate and tropical cladocerans to insecticides. Acute laboratory toxicity tests were conducted with five Neotropical cladocerans exposed to a concentration series of the insecticide chlorpyrifos. Subsequently, their EC50 values were compared with those reported in the literature for non-tropical cladocerans. An additional literature toxicity data search for insecticides other than chlorpyrifos was also conducted for both temperate and tropical cladocerans to enable a comparison for a wider range of insecticides and taxa. The order of sensitivity of the native cladocerans to chlorpyrifos was Ceriodaphnia silvestrii (0.039 μg L−1) > Diaphanosoma birgei (0.211 μg L−1) = Daphnia laevis (0.216 μg L−1) > Moina micrura (0.463 μg L−1) = Macrothrix flabelligera (0.619 μg L−1). A regulatory acceptable concentration based on temperate cladoceran toxicity data of both chlorpyrifos and other insecticides also appeared to be sufficiently protective for tropical cladoceran species. Implications for the use of temperate toxicity data in tropical risk assessments and indications for tropical cladoceran test species selection are discussed.
- Risk assessment
- Species sensitivity distributions
- Tropical ecotoxicology