Multiple Stress Effects of Vision Herbicide, pH, and Food on Zooplankton and Larval Amphibian Species From Forest Wetlands

Environ Toxicol Chem. 2004 Apr;23(4):823-31. doi: 10.1897/03-108.


As part of a multiple-tier research program, interactions of the herbicide Vision (glyphosate) with two stressors, pH and food level, were examined. Effects of the formulated product Vision were tested at two test concentrations (0.75 and 1.50 mg acid equivalent/L), two pH levels (pH 5.5 and 7.5), and under high and low food concentrations. Effects of each stressor alone and in combination were examined using two common wetland taxa: Zooplankton, Simocephalus vetulus, and tadpoles (Gosner stage 25) of Rana pipiens. For S. vetulus, survival, reproduction, and development time were measured; survival was measured for R. pipiens. For both species, significant effects of the herbicide were measured at concentrations lower than the calculated worst-case value for the expected environmental concentration ([EEC], 1.40 mg acid equivalent/L). Moreover, high pH (7.5) increased the toxic effects of the herbicide on all response variables for both species even though it improved reproductive rate of S. vetulus over pH 5.5 in the absence of herbicide. Stress due to low food alone also interacted with pH 5.5 to diminish S. vetulus survival. These results support the general postulate that multiple stress interactions may exacerbate chemical effects on aquatic biota in natural systems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cladocera* / physiology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Food Deprivation*
  • Glycine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Glycine / toxicity*
  • Herbicides / toxicity*
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Male
  • Population Dynamics
  • Ranidae* / physiology
  • Reproduction
  • Survival Analysis
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / toxicity*


  • Herbicides
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • glyphosate
  • Glycine