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Wetland animals; Invertebrates--Effect of insecticides on


Impacts of the insecticide phorate on the genetic diversity of wetland invertebrates were investigated using field and laboratory studies in 1991. Electrophoretic methods were evaluated for revealing the impact of insecticides. Objectives were to determine the ability of electrophoresis to reveal the impact of phorate on invertebrates and to determine the influence of phorate on the genetic diversity in two common invertebrates. Amphipods, Hyallela azteca and mayflies, Callibaetis ferrugineus (Walsh) were placed in constructed mesocosms in wetlands and were exposed to varying amounts of phorate. Survivors and individuals from the parent population were genetically tested using cellulose acetate electrophoresis techniques. Allele frequencies were calculated for invertebrates in treatments and invertebrates from populations not exposed to phorate. Mortality of test invertebrates was significantly greater in phorate treatments than in controls (F = 5.97, P = 0.019). Chi-square analysis revealed differences in allele frequencies between the untreated populations and individuals of both species treated with phorate cx2 > 8.5; df = 1,2; p < 0.05). In addition, phorate appeared to eliminate, or reduce the frequency of certain genotypes in both species. Results indicate phorate selected against sensitive individuals and electrophoresis was effective at detecting differences between untreated populations and invertebrates that survived treatments. Genetic techniques should enable wetland scientists to detect the effects of pollution on invertebrate populations by monitoring genetic composition.

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