At present, the European Union legislation facilitates the use of similar pesticides among European Member States, thereby assuming that biodiversity and ecosystems have equal sensitivities to contaminants throughout the whole of Europe. However, with this assumption, fundamental environmental and biological differences between climatic zones are being ignored in Environmental Risk Assessment. Such differences may strongly influence the behaviour of contaminants, their effects on biodiversity and on the natural functioning of ecosystems. Furthermore, toxicity testing in European ecoregions other than cold-temperate has largely depended on standardized tests using cold-temperate species and conditions, which may lead to a false estimation of risks to organisms from other ecoregions. The present study aim was to determine the response of freshwater macroinvertebrate communities to the fungicide pyrimethanil by conducting aquatic mesocosm experiments in two different ecoregions with different climates: cold-temperate (Frankfurt, Germany) and warm-temperate (Coimbra, Portugal). The results indicate that the community in the cold-temperate climate was more sensitive to the fungicide in comparison to the warm-temperate community. This difference was most likely related to a different rate of fungicide disappearance, which was slower in the colder climate. Based upon our results we discuss important implications for improving Environmental Risk Assessment across climate zones and under present-day global climate change scenarios. (C) 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
- Environmental risk assessment
- Trophic functioning
- Taxonomic composition