Extreme temperatures in the adult stage shape delayed effects of larval pesticide stress: A comparison between latitudes

Lizanne Janssens, Khuong Van Dinh, Robby Stoks

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Global warming and pesticide pollution are major threats for aquatic biodiversity. Yet, how pesticide effects are influenced by the increased frequency of extreme temperatures under global warming and how local thermal adaptation may mitigate these effects is unknown. We therefore investigated the combined impact of larval chlorpyrifos exposure, larval food stress and adult heat exposure on a set of fitness-related traits in replicated low- and high-latitude populations of the damselfly Ischnura elegans. Larval pesticide exposure resulted in lighter adults with a higher water content, lower fat content, higher Hsp70 levels and a lower immune function (PO activity). Heat exposure reduced water content, mass, fat content and flying ability. Importantly, both stressors interacted across metamorphosis: adult heat exposure lowered the reduction of fat content, and generated a stronger decrease in PO activity in pesticide-exposed animals. Larval pesticide exposure and larval food stress also reduced the defense response to the adult heat stress in terms of increased Hsp70 levels. In line with strong life history differences in the unstressed control situation, high-latitude animals were less sensitive to food stress (body mass and water content), but more sensitive to pesticide stress (development time and PO activity) and heat exposure (PO activity and Hsp70 levels). While low-latitude adults could better withstand the extreme temperature as suggested by the weaker increase in Hsp70, heat exposure similarly affected the delayed effects of larval pesticide exposure at both latitudes. Our study highlighted two key findings relevant for ecological risk assessment under global warming. Firstly, the delayed effects of larval pesticide exposure on adult damselflies depended upon subsequent adult heat exposure, indicating that larval pesticide stress and adult heat stress interacted across metamorphosis. Secondly, low- and high-latitude animals responded differently to the imposed stressors, highlighting that intraspecific evolution along natural thermal gradients may shape sensitivity to pesticides. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAquatic Toxicology
Pages (from-to)74-82
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Carry-over effects
  • Chlorpyrifos
  • Damselfly
  • Heat
  • Latitudinal gradient
  • Multiple stressors
  • Aquatic Science
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • chlorpyrifos
  • heat shock protein 70
  • monophenol monooxygenase
  • pesticide
  • body mass
  • environmental factor
  • environmental fate
  • environmental stress
  • fly
  • global warming
  • larval development
  • latitudinal gradient
  • temperature effect
  • temperature gradient
  • article
  • chemical stress
  • controlled study
  • damselfly
  • enzyme activity
  • fat content
  • flying
  • greenhouse effect
  • heat stress
  • high temperature
  • larva
  • latitude
  • metamorphosis
  • mortality
  • nonhuman
  • priority journal
  • risk assessment
  • survival rate
  • temperature acclimatization
  • temperature stress
  • thermal exposure
  • water content
  • Animals
  • Body Size
  • Female
  • Flight, Animal
  • Larva
  • Male
  • Odonata
  • Survival Analysis
  • Temperature
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • flying ability
  • heat exposure
  • immune function
  • Insecta Arthropoda Invertebrata Animalia (Animals, Arthropods, Insects, Invertebrates) - Odonata [75338] Ischnura elegans species damselfly common larva, mature, egg female
  • chlorpyrifos 2921-88-2 toxin, pesticide
  • Hsp70 heat shock protein 70
  • phenoloxidase 9002-10-2 EC
  • 10060, Biochemistry studies - General
  • 10064, Biochemistry studies - Proteins, peptides and amino acids
  • 12002, Physiology - General
  • 22501, Toxicology - General and methods
  • 25502, Development and Embryology - General and descriptive
  • 54600, Pest control: general, pesticides and herbicides
  • 64076, Invertebrata: comparative, experimental morphology, physiology and pathology - Insecta: physiology
  • Chemical Coordination and Homeostasis
  • Pesticides
  • Toxicology


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