• Aquatic macrophytes;
  • Atrazine;
  • Lemna minor;
  • Myriophyllum aquaticum;
  • Risk assessment


The relative sensitivity and recovery potential of two aquatic macrophyte species, Lemna minor and Myriophyllum aquaticum, exposed to atrazine (concentration ranges 80–1,280 µg/L and 40–640 µg/L, respectively) were evaluated using slightly adapted standard protocol for Lemna spp.: relative growth rates (RGR) and yield of both plants were measured in 3-d-long intervals during the exposure and recovery phase. Myriophyllum aquaticum was also exposed to atrazine-spiked sediment (0.1–3.7 µg/g) in a water-free system. The results of M. aquaticum sediment contact tests showed that root- and shoot-based growth parameters are equally sensitive endpoints. In the water (sediment-free) test system, L. minor recovered after short (3 d) and longer exposure (7 d) to all atrazine concentrations after only a 5- to 6-d-long recovery phase. The recovery of M. aquaticum after short exposure was slower and less efficient: after 12 d of recovery phase the final biomass of plants exposed to 380 and 640 µg/L was below the initial values. The last interval RGR provides a good indication of plant recovery potential regardless of species growth strategy. If compared to L. minor, the difference in growth rate, sensitivity, lag phase, recovery potential from water-column substances, and also suitability for studies investigating the effect of sediment-bound pollutants advocates the use of M. aquaticum as an additional macrophyte species in risk assessment. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2012;31:417–426. © 2011 SETAC