Forest stakeholders in NB operated arguably the world’s largest aerial insecticide spray program during the mid 20th century. Organochlorine insecticides were used extensively to control spruce budworm populations. In aquatic ecosystems many invertebrates are sensitive to organochlorines.
We used sedimentary measures of DDT and remains of zooplankton and benthic invertebrates preserved within dated sediment cores from NB lakes to assess responses to and recovery from historic DDT use. Within our study lakes, invertebrate community composition and concentration suggest marked shifts in response to insecticide stressors and presumably other environmental changes in recent decades.
Overall, ecological recovery has not occurred at the most impacted lakes. This collaborative research with Karen Kidd highlights potential legacy effects of persistent pollutants.