Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2015MD330B

Chironomus riparius: A Tool for Studying Ecological Effects of “Inert” Safeners (Graduate Fellowship)

Institute: Maryland
Year Established: 2015 Start Date: 2015-05-15 End Date: 2015-09-01
Total Federal Funds: $6,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $12,026

Principal Investigators: Kaye Brubaker, Susan Gresens

Abstract: The environmental effects of safeners, chemicals that protect crops from herbicide toxicity, are largely unknown. Under controlled anaerobic conditions in the laboratory, safeners can degrade into potentially toxic byproducts. I will determine whether degradation of safeners leads to toxic effects on sediment-burrowing larvae of Chironomus riparius, and an aquatic plant. I will modify a standard method for measuring sediment toxicity employing C. riparius and measure whether test sediment composition alters safener degradation rates. The density of C. riparius is predicted to alter the distribution of safener products between sediment and water column, and their bioavailability to aquatic organisms.