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The pace-of life explains whether gills improve or exacerbate pesticide sensitivity in a damselfly larva*

  • Janssens, Lizanne; 59670;
  • Verberk, Wilco;
  • Stoks, Robby; 34380;
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2021
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Trait-based approaches are promising to make generalizations about the sensitivity of species and populations to pesticides. Two traits that may shape the sensitivity to pesticides are the surface area (related to pesticide uptake) and the metabolic rate (related to pesticide elimination). We compared the sensitivity of damselfly larvae to the pesticide chlorpyrifos and how this was modified by loss of external gills (autotomy, reducing the surface area) in both fast pace-of-life (high metabolic rate) and slow pace-of-life (low metabolic rate) populations of Ischnura elegans. The slow-paced populations were more sensitive to the pesticide than the fast-paced populations in terms of survival, growth and energy metabolism. This suggests the higher metabolic rate of fast-paced populations enabled a faster pesticide elimination. Pesticide exposure also reduced heat tolerance, especially in slow-paced larvae under hypoxia. Gill loss had opposite effects on pesticide sensitivity in slow- and fast-paced populations. In slow-paced larvae, gill loss lowered the sensitivity to the pesticide, while in fast-paced larvae, gill loss increased the sensitivity. This difference likely reflects the balance between the roles of the gills in pesticide uptake (more detrimental in slow-paced populations) and oxygen uptake (more important in fast-paced populations). Our results highlight the need to consider trait interactions when applying trait-based approaches to predict the sensitivity to pesticides. / status: published

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