This study aimed to determine the toxicity of three organophosphorous pesticides, chlorpyrifos, terbufos and methamidophos, to three indigenous algal species isolated from local rivers and algal mixtures. The diatom Nitzschia sp. (0.30–1.68 mg L?1 of EC50 -the estimated concentration related to a 50% growth reduction) and the cyanobacteria Oscillatoria sp. (EC50 of 0.33–7.99 mg L?1) were sensitive to single pesticide treatment and the chlorophyta Chlorella sp. was the most tolerant (EC50 of 1.29–41.16 mg L?1). In treatment with the mixture of three pesticides, Chlorella sp. became the most sensitive alga. The antagonistic joint toxic effects on three indigenous algae and algal mixtures were found for most of the two pesticide mixtures. The results suggested that mixture of pesticides might induce the detoxification mechanisms more easily than the single pesticide. The synergistic interactions between terbufos and methamidophos to algal mixtures and between methamidophos and chlorpyrifos to Nitzschia sp. indicated methamidophos might act as a potential synergist. Differential sensitivity of three families of algae to these pesticides might result in changes in the algal community structures after river water has been contaminated with different pesticides, posing great ecological risk on the structure and functioning of the aquatic ecosystem.
Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part B / v.47n.9, P.901-912