chapter  7
10 Pages

The Difficulty in Determining the Effects of Pesticides on Aquatic Communities

Pesticides can be found in nearly every home, business, farm, school, hospital, golf course, park, forest, stream, and lake in the United States (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1964; Odenkirchen and Eisler, 1988). Pesticides have been intentionally introduced into the environment, are intended to adversely affect “target organisms,” are chemically dynamic, biologically mobile, and difficult to detect in natural systems (Ware, 1994). Many issues surrounding pesticides must be addressed if their role is to be better understood and adverse effects on non-target organisms prevented. Associated problems include organic carbon partitioning and degradation (Wilcock et al., 1993; Ankley et al., 1994), trophic transfer within the food web (Miller et al., 1966; DiPinto, 1996), differences in life stage effects (Stevens, 1992; Green et al., 1996), and extrapolating laboratory tests to field observations (Kersting and van der Brink, 1997).