Predictability of the impact of multiple stressors on the keystone species Daphnia

Maria Cuenca Cambronero, Hollie Marshall, Luc De Meester, Thomas Alexander Davidson, Andrew P Beckerman, Luisa Orsini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
174 Downloads (Pure)


Eutrophication and climate change are two of the most pressing environmental issues affecting up to 50% of aquatic ecosystems worldwide. Mitigation strategies to reduce the impact of environmental change are complicated by inherent difficulties of predicting the long-term impact of multiple stressors on natural populations. Here, we investigated the impact of temperature, food levels and carbamate insecticides, in isolation and in combination, on current and historical populations of the freshwater grazer Daphnia. We used common garden and competition experiments on historical and modern populations of D. magna 'resurrected' from a lake with known history of anthropogenic eutrophication and documented increase in ambient temperature over time. We found that these populations response dramatically differed between single and multiple stressors. Whereas warming alone induced similar responses among populations, warming combined with insecticides or food limitation resulted in significantly lower fitness in the population historically exposed to pesticides. These results suggest that the negative effect of historical pesticide exposure is magnified in the presence of warming, supporting the hypothesis of synergism between chemical pollution and other stressors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17572
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2018


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