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Pesticide residues in the ecosystem

December 31, 1966

Pesticide residues have become a component of nearly all living organisms. Nearly all California birds and fish collected in a 1963 pesticide survey contained residues. Discovery of DDT and metabolites in Antarctic animals in 1964 pushed the distribution of pesticides to the remotest portions of the globe. Exchange of pesticides in the aquatic world progresses rapidly, even in the quiet waters of a pond. Any segment of the ecosystem–marshland, pond, forest, or field–receives pesticides of varied amounts and kinds at irregular and unknown intervals. Phytoplankton communities are an important food base in aquatic environments whose productivity can be affected by rather small exposure to pesticides. Degradation and loss of chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides from the ecosystem has been shown to proceed slowly. Pesticide-tolerant or resistant populations of fish and possibly other cold-blooded vertebrates have been shown to exist in areas of the south long subjected to pesticide treatments.

Publication Year 1966
Title Pesticide residues in the ecosystem
DOI 10.2134/asaspecpub8.c11
Authors E. H. Dustman, Lucille F. Stickel
Publication Type Book Chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Series Number 8
Index ID 5210183
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Patuxent Wildlife Research Center