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The auxin herbicide mecoprop-P in new light: Filling the data gap for dicotyledonous macrophytes.

  • Périllon, Cécile1
  • Feibicke, Michael2
  • Sahm, René2
  • Kusebauch, Björn2
  • Hönemann, Linda3
  • Mohr, Silvia2
  • 1 Umweltbundesamt, FG IV 2.5, Schichauweg 58, 12307, Berlin, Germany; Umweltbundesamt, FG IV 1.3, Wörlitzer Platz 1, 06844, Dessau-Roßlau, Germany. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Germany)
  • 2 Umweltbundesamt, FG IV 2.5, Schichauweg 58, 12307, Berlin, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 3 Umweltbundesamt, FG IV 1.3, Wörlitzer Platz 1, 06844, Dessau-Roßlau, Germany. , (Germany)
Published Article
Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987)
Publication Date
Dec 29, 2020
DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2020.116405
PMID: 33454613


Mecoprop-P (MCPP-P) is an auxin herbicide which has been used against dicotyledonous weed plants since the 1980s. While fate and monitoring data of MCPP-P in the aquatic environment revealing concentrations up to 103 μg/L in freshwaters are well documented, only very few toxicity data and no studies with dicotyledonous macrophytes have been published in open literature so far. To fill up this essential data gap, a microcosm study was conducted in order to test the sensitivity of nine dicotyledonous and one Ceratophyllales macrophyte species. The plant species were exposed to seven MCPP-P concentrations ranging from 8 to 512 μg/L for 21/22 days in one microcosm per concentration, and two further microcosms served as controls. Plant preparation was adapted to each species and endpoints were measured to calculate growth rates. Data were generated to obtain effect concentrations (ECX) which then were used to construct species sensitivity distribution curves (SSD). Eight species proved to be sensitive to MCPP-P in the tested concentration range with EC50 values ranging from 46.9 μg/L for Ranunculus aquatilis to 656.4 μg/L MCPP-P for Ludwigia repens. Taking the EC50 values of this study and published data for autotrophic organisms into account, a hazard concentration (HC5) of 2.7 μg/L was derived from the SSD curve, while an SSD curve without dicotyledonous macrophytes resulted in an about 100 times higher HC5 (360.8 μg/L MCCP-P). This confirms that a re-evaluation for old auxin herbicides by including dicotyledonous test species into the environmental risk assessment may be indicated. Furthermore, the use of MCPP-P in bitumen felts as protection against rooting by plants is not in the focus of any risk regulation so far. This application, however, can lead to high run-off concentrations that can enter surface waters easily, exceeding the new regulatory acceptable concentration values. Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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