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      Mayflies (Ephemeroptera) and Their Contributions to Ecosystem Services


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          This work is intended as a general and concise overview of Ephemeroptera biology, diversity, and services provided to humans and other parts of our global array of freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems. The Ephemeroptera, or mayflies, are a small but diverse order of amphinotic insects associated with liquid freshwater worldwide. They are nearly cosmopolitan, except for Antarctica and some very remote islands. The existence of the subimago stage is unique among extant insects. Though the winged stages do not have functional mouthparts or digestive systems, the larval, or nymphal, stages have a variety of feeding approaches—including, but not limited to, collector-gatherers, filterers, scrapers, and active predators—with each supported by a diversity of morphological and behavioral adaptations. Mayflies provide direct and indirect services to humans and other parts of both freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems. In terms of cultural services, they have provided inspiration to musicians, poets, and other writers, as well as being the namesakes of various water- and aircraft. They are commemorated by festivals worldwide. Mayflies are especially important to fishing. Mayflies contribute to the provisioning services of ecosystems in that they are utilized as food by human cultures worldwide (having one of the highest protein contents of any edible insect), as laboratory organisms, and as a potential source of antitumor molecules. They provide regulatory services through their cleaning of freshwater. They provide many essential supporting services for ecosystems such as bioturbation, bioirrigation, decomposition, nutrition for many kinds of non-human animals, nutrient cycling and spiraling in freshwaters, nutrient cycling between aquatic and terrestrial systems, habitat for other organisms, and serving as indicators of ecosystem health. About 20% of mayfly species worldwide might have a threatened conservation status due to influences from pollution, invasive alien species, habitat loss and degradation, and climate change. Even mitigation of negative influences has benefits and tradeoffs, as, in several cases, sustainable energy production negatively impacts mayflies.

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          Neonicotinoid contamination of global surface waters and associated risk to aquatic invertebrates: a review.

          Neonicotinoids, broad-spectrum systemic insecticides, are the fastest growing class of insecticides worldwide and are now registered for use on hundreds of field crops in over 120 different countries. The environmental profile of this class of pesticides indicate that they are persistent, have high leaching and runoff potential, and are highly toxic to a wide range of invertebrates. Therefore, neonicotinoids represent a significant risk to surface waters and the diverse aquatic and terrestrial fauna that these ecosystems support. This review synthesizes the current state of knowledge on the reported concentrations of neonicotinoids in surface waters from 29 studies in 9 countries world-wide in tandem with published data on their acute and chronic toxicity to 49 species of aquatic insects and crustaceans spanning 12 invertebrate orders. Strong evidence exists that water-borne neonicotinoid exposures are frequent, long-term and at levels (geometric means=0.13μg/L (averages) and 0.63μg/L (maxima)) which commonly exceed several existing water quality guidelines. Imidacloprid is by far the most widely studied neonicotinoid (66% of the 214 toxicity tests reviewed) with differences in sensitivity among aquatic invertebrate species ranging several orders of magnitude; other neonicotinoids display analogous modes of action and similar toxicities, although comparative data are limited. Of the species evaluated, insects belonging to the orders Ephemeroptera, Trichoptera and Diptera appear to be the most sensitive, while those of Crustacea (although not universally so) are less sensitive. In particular, the standard test species Daphnia magna appears to be very tolerant, with 24-96hour LC50 values exceeding 100,000μg/L (geometric mean>44,000μg/L), which is at least 2-3 orders of magnitude higher than the geometric mean of all other invertebrate species tested. Overall, neonicotinoids can exert adverse effects on survival, growth, emergence, mobility, and behavior of many sensitive aquatic invertebrate taxa at concentrations at or below 1μg/L under acute exposure and 0.1μg/L for chronic exposure. Using probabilistic approaches (species sensitivity distributions), we recommend here that ecological thresholds for neonicotinoid water concentrations need to be below 0.2μg/L (short-term acute) or 0.035μg/L (long-term chronic) to avoid lasting effects on aquatic invertebrate communities. The application of safety factors may still be warranted considering potential issues of slow recovery, additive or synergistic effects and multiple stressors that can occur in the field. Our analysis revealed that 81% (22/27) and 74% (14/19) of global surface water studies reporting maximum and average individual neonicotinoid concentrations respectively, exceeded these thresholds of 0.2 and 0.035μg/L. Therefore, it appears that environmentally relevant concentrations of neonicotinoids in surface waters worldwide are well within the range where both short- and long-term impacts on aquatic invertebrate species are possible over broad spatial scales.
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            Organic chemicals jeopardize the health of freshwater ecosystems on the continental scale.

            Organic chemicals can contribute to local and regional losses of freshwater biodiversity and ecosystem services. However, their overall relevance regarding larger spatial scales remains unknown. Here, we present, to our knowledge, the first risk assessment of organic chemicals on the continental scale comprising 4,000 European monitoring sites. Organic chemicals were likely to exert acute lethal and chronic long-term effects on sensitive fish, invertebrate, or algae species in 14% and 42% of the sites, respectively. Of the 223 chemicals monitored, pesticides, tributyltin, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and brominated flame retardants were the major contributors to the chemical risk. Their presence was related to agricultural and urban areas in the upstream catchment. The risk of potential acute lethal and chronic long-term effects increased with the number of ecotoxicologically relevant chemicals analyzed at each site. As most monitoring programs considered in this study only included a subset of these chemicals, our assessment likely underestimates the actual risk. Increasing chemical risk was associated with deterioration in the quality status of fish and invertebrate communities. Our results clearly indicate that chemical pollution is a large-scale environmental problem and requires far-reaching, holistic mitigation measures to preserve and restore ecosystem health.
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              Salinisation of rivers: An urgent ecological issue

              Secondary salinisation of rivers and streams is a global and growing threat that might be amplified by climate change. It can have many different causes, like irrigation, mining activity or the use of salts as de-icing agents for roads. Freshwater organisms only tolerate certain ranges of water salinity. Therefore secondary salinisation has an impact at the individual, population, community and ecosystem levels, which ultimately leads to a reduction in aquatic biodiversity and compromises the goods and services that rivers and streams provide. Management of secondary salinization should be directed towards integrated catchment strategies (e.g. benefiting from the dilution capacity of the rivers) and identifying threshold salt concentrations to preserve the ecosystem integrity. Future research on the interaction of salinity with other stressors and the impact of salinization on trophic interactions and ecosystem properties is needed and the implications of this issue for human society need to be seriously considered. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

                Author and article information

                14 June 2019
                June 2019
                : 10
                : 6
                : 170
                [1 ]Division of Science, Indiana University Purdue University Columbus, 4601 Central Ave., Columbus, IN 47203, USA
                [2 ]Buglife—The Invertebrate Conservation Trust, Balallan House, 24 Allan Park, Stirling, Scotland FK8 2QG, UK; craig.macadam@ 123456buglife.org.uk
                [3 ]Musée cantonal de zoologie, Palais de Rumine, Place de la Riponne 6, CH-1005 Lausanne, Switzerland; michel.sartori@ 123456vd.ch
                [4 ]Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne, Biophore, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland; michel.sartori@ 123456unil.ch
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: lukemjacobus@ 123456alumni.purdue.edu ; Tel.: +1-812-348-7283
                Author information
                © 2019 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                : 22 January 2019
                : 06 June 2019

                aquatic insects,diversity,adaptations,ecology,freshwater systems,terrestrial systems


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