Triclosan (TCS) is an emerging contaminant of concern in environmental studies due to its potential adverse effects on fish behavior. Since avoidance has been shown to be a relevant behavioral endpoint, our aims were: (i) to determine if TCS is able to trigger an avoidance response in Poecilia reticulata; (ii) to predict the population immediate decline (PID) caused by TCS exposure, by integrating lethality and avoidance responses; and (iii) to verify the overestimation of risk when mortality is assessed under forced exposure. Fish were exposed to TCS in a forced exposure system, to assess mortality, and to a TCS gradient in a non-forced exposure (NFE) system. Two NFE scenarios were simulated: (#1) a spatially permanent gradient, including low and high concentrations; and (#2) a scenario with high concentrations, simulating a local discharge. The fish avoided TCS concentrations as low as 0.2 μg L−1 (avoidance of 22%). The AC50 obtained from scenario #1 (8.04 μg L−1) was about 15 times more sensitive than that from scenario #2 (118.4 μg L−1). In general, up to the highest concentration tested (2000 μg L−1), the PID was determined by the avoidance. Mortality from the forced exposure was overestimated (48 h-LC50 of 1650 mg L−1), relative to the NFE. The reduced mortality in a non-forced environment does not imply a lower effect, because part of the population is expected to disappear by moving towards favorable environments. TCS is a potential environmental disturber, since at environmentally relevant concentrations (<2 μg L−1) it could cause a decline in the fish population.
Silva, D. C. V. R., Araújo, C. V. M., López-Doval, J. C., Neto, M. B., Silva, F. T., Paiva, T. C. B., & Pompêo, M. L. M. (2017). Potential effects of triclosan on spatial displacement and local population decline of the fish Poecilia reticulata using a non-forced system. Chemosphere, 184, 329–336. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2017.06.002