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6, 2001, pp. 847–849. Original Russian Text Copyright © 2001 by Ostroumov.
The Hazard of a Two-Level Synergism of Synecological Summation of Anthropogenic Effects
S. A. Ostroumov
Presented by Academician V.N. Bol’shakov April 18, 2001 Received April 26, 2001
There are a number of approaches to identiﬁcation and classiﬁcation of the hazards of anthropogenic impact on organisms, populations, ecosystems and the biosphere [1–7]. The purpose of this study was to identify a new type of ecological hazard of anthropogenic impact (using chemical pollution as an example), which we propose to term “synecological summation” or “synergistic summation” of anthropogenic effects on organisms of two adjacent trophic levels. As s continuation of our studies on the anthropogenic impact of mixed chemicals, we studied the effects of some detergents on the ﬁltering activity of the bivalves Crassostrea gigas Thunberg and Mytilus galloprovincialis Lam. The organisms were obtained from the Institute of Biology of Southern Seas (INBUM), National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. The method of measurement was described in . The data shown in Tables 1–3 demonstrate that the detergents Vesna-Delikat, IXI, and Tide-Lemon inhibited water ﬁltering by bivalves, including both adult (Tables 1, 2) and juvenile (Table 3) organisms. The concentrations of the detergents producing this effect were relatively low. This agrees with similar data on the inhibitory effects produced by low concentrations of other detergents, as well as of some individual chemicals which belong to the class of surfactants [8–10]. Note that the same concentrations of detergents and surfactants did not produce noticeable effects on several species of unicellular organisms that represented a part of the suspended matter. It was shown that the detergent Tide-Lemon at a concentration of less than 100 mg/l did not inhibit the growth of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 . The detergents OMO-Intelligent (1, 10, and 100 mg/l) did not inhibit the growth of Anacystis nidulans (Synechococcus elongatus) R-2 . Moreover, the detergent TideLemon at concentrations of 1–100 mg/l stimulated the growth of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 and Scenedes-
Moscow State University, Vorob’evy gory, Moscow, 119899 Russia
mus quadricauda  in some growth media; the detergents TL (10 mg/l) and E (10 mg/l) stimulated the growth of A. nidulans . Stimulation of some other species of phytoplankton (marine microalgae) was also shown . Various species of phytoplankton were shown to have different sensitivities to surfactants. It was shown that the diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana is relatively sensitive to the nonionic surfactant Triton X-100 . However, the entire set of data available allows us to conclude that at least some species of phytoplankton are relatively tolerant to detergents and their components (several surfactants), at concentrations that signiﬁcantly reduce the water ﬁltering activity of bivalves. The reduction of the ﬁltering activity is associated with a decrease in the ability of bivalves to remove suspended particles from water. The actual chemical pollution of water bodies is a complex pollution with a whole range of chemicals. Therefore, it is important that this range of chemicals may include both surfactants and nutrients, e.g., phosphorus. Many detergents include both surfactants and phosphorus-containing chemicals; hence, they are perfect examples of the source of the double contamination of water with both components. This fact is in accord with the aforementioned stimulation of the growth of some phytoplanktonic species by detergents (because the stimulatory effect of phosphorus might sometimes be more pronounced than the inhibitory effects of the other chemicals in the mixture). In actual ecological systems, the two group of organisms considered (phytoplankton and bivalves) are linked together in trophic chains. Therefore, different types of responses of phytoplankton and bivalves to some chemicals that simultaneously occur in water (under the conditions of complex water pollution, or pollution with a mixture of chemicals) may bring about consequences important to the state of the ecosystem. Because of the link between the two trophic levels, the hazards of individual chemicals that affect individual trophic levels may be combine to yield the following effects: ﬁrst phosphorus may stimulate the growth of phytoplankton; second, the control of phytoplankton (via its removal from water consumers) is disturbed
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Table 1. Effect of the detergent VD on the change in the optical density (OD550) of the suspension of S. cerevisiae during its ﬁltration by the oysters Crassostrea gigas No. of measurement 1 2 Time from the beginning of incubation, min 7 22 Experiment (+ VD) (A) 0.162 0.055 Control 1 (with Control 2 (without oysters, without VD) oysters, without VD) (C) (B) 0.237 0.174 121.0 176.4 EER, ratio OD550 A/B, % 0.196 0.097
Note: VD, the detergent Vesna-Delikat (1 mg/l). There were 16 oysters in each of the beakers (beakers A and B). The total weight (wet weight with shells) of the oysters: A, 23.6 g; B, 23.5 g. The average weight of one oyster: A, 1.475 g; B, 1.469 g. The water volume in each beacker was 250 ml;. the temperature was 23.4°C. S. cerevisiae density, 60 mg/l. EER, the effect on the efﬁciency of removal of the suspended matter from water.
Table 2. Effect of the detergent IXI on the change in the optical density (OD550) of the suspension of S. cerevisiae during its ﬁltration by the mussels Mytilus galloprovincialis No. of measurement 1 2 Time from the beginning of the incubation, min 3 8 OD550 Experiment (+ IXI) (A) 0.310 0.192 Control 1 (with mussels, without IXI) (B) 0.269 0.129 Control 2 (without mussels, without IXI) (C) 0.352 0.342 EER, ratio OD550 A/B, % 115.2 148.8
Note: Detergent IXI, 1 mg/l. The total weight (wet weight with shells) of the mussels: A, 96.2 g; B, 98.5 g. The average weight of one mussel: A, 6.01 g; B, 6.16 g. The water volume in each beacker was 500 ml; the temperature was 22.3 °C. S. cerevisiae density, 100 mg/l. EER, the effect on the efﬁciency of removal of the suspended matter from water.
Table 3. Effect of the detergent TL on the change in the optical density OD650 of the suspension of Pavlova lutheri (Droop) Green (Monochrysis lutheri Droop) during its ﬁltration by juvenile mussels Mytilus galloprovincialis Time from the Experiment (+ TL) (A) No. of beginning of the measurement incubation, min 1 2 1 44 47 49 2 75 78 80 – – 0.134 – – 0.12 – – 0.145 – – 0.12 Control 1 (with mussels, Control 2 (without without TL) (B) mussels, without TL) (C) Ratio OD650 A/B, % 3 4 5 6 0.12 – – 0.072 – – 0.10 – – 0.070 – – – 0.15 – – 0.14 – – 0.15 – – 0.14 – 169.0 127.3
(Average 0.14) (Average 0.071)
Note: TL, Tide-Lemon (50 mg/l). Each variant was in duplicate (beakers 1 and 2, variant A; beakers 3 and 4, variant B; beakers 5 and 6, variant C). In parentheses, the average values for duplicates are shown. The age of the mussels was two months. The total weight (wet weight with shells) of the mussels: beakers 3 and 6, 0.10 g; beaker 4, 0.09 g; beaker 5, 0.11 g. The average weight of one juvenile mussel was 0.93 mg.
because of the negative effects of surfactants on the organisms of the next trophic level (represented by ﬁlter feeders, including bivalves) . Because of this type of the trophic-chain organization, there exists a hazard of summation of the two types of effects (in
spite of the fact that primary targets of the chemicals are organisms belonging to different trophic levels) (Table 4). The hazard of that type is based on the unequal sensitivity of some phytoplanktonic species and benthic
DOKLADY BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES Vol. 380 2001
THE HAZARD OF A TWO-LEVEL SYNERGISM OF SYNECOLOGICAL SUMMATION
Table 4. Examples of the anthropogenic effects that give rise to the hazard of two-level synergism of synecological summation (based on [6–13, 15] and other publications) Trophic levels Primary producers (autotrophs) Organisms Components of the Potential effects of the chemical agents mixtures of chemicals
Phytoplankton: Synechocystis sp. PCC Phosphorus-containing Stimulation of the growth of the chemicals (phosphates) phytoplankton 6803; S. quadricauda ; Anacystis nidulans (Synechococcus elongatus) R-2 ; and some others  Consumers Benthic bivalves (ﬁlter feeders): Unio Surfactants Inhibition of the water ﬁltration by (phytophagous pictorum, Crassostrea gigas, Mytilus edulis, bivalves; decrease in the removal of heterotrophs) and M. galloprovincialis [6–10], etc. cells of phytoplankton from water
ﬁlter-feeders to several chemicals. An unequal sensitivity has also been found for some other chemicals (pesticides) in the case of comparing phytoplankton and zooplankton grazers that consume phytoplankton . These data indicate that the aforementioned hazard of summation of anthropogenic impacts on organisms belonging to different tropic levels is of general importance. In conclusion, our data on bivalves make it possible to identify a new type of hazard due to water pollution with a mix of two or more chemicals. This is the danger that even relatively mild inﬂuences on organisms of two adjacent trophic levels may eventually produce a synergistic, pronounced and deﬁnitely undesirable effect that will lead to an abnormal increase in the abundance of organisms of one of the trophic levels. It seems possible to predict that, in the future, new examples of the hazard of similar synergy of individual effects of anthropogenic impacts on organisms of various trophic levels will be described, for both aquatic (freshwater and marine) and terrestrial ecosystems. ACKNOWLEDGMENT I am grateful to V.D. Fedorov, M.E. Vinogradov, A.F. Alimov, V.V. Malakhov, N.V. Revkova, N.N. Kolotilova, and other colleagues at the Moscow University and Russian Academy of Sciences for discussion of the paper, as well as their assistance, and advice. I thank G.E. Shulman, G.A. Finenko, V.I. Kholodov, A.V. Pirkova, A.Ya. Stolbov, and A.A. Soldatov for providing the molluscs and for their help and P. Wangersky for valuable advice. This work was partly supported by the Open Society Support Foundation (grant RSS no. 1306/1999) and the IBG.
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