Integrating the fish embryo toxicity test as triad element for sediment toxicity assessment based on the Water Framework Directive approach

Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, UFZ Department Bioanalytical Ecotoxicology Permoserstr. 15 04318 Leipzig Germany
Journal of Soils and Sediments (Impact Factor: 2.14). 04/2010; 10(3):389-399. DOI: 10.1007/s11368-009-0170-1


Purpose: The objective of this study was to complement analyses according to the European Union Water Framework Directive (WFD) with a sediment toxicity analysis as part of an integrated river assessment. To this end, Hessian water courses were analyzed using the sediment quality triad concept according to Chapman with chemical analyses, in situ effect evaluations, and ecotoxicological assessments. For the ecotoxicological assessment (fish embryo toxicity test with Danio rerio), a new evaluation scheme was developed, the fish teratogenicity index (FTI), that allows for a classification of sediments into ecological quality classes compliant to the WFD. Materials and methods: Sediment and macrozoobenthos samples were taken from tributaries of the rivers Fulda and Lahn. Sediments were characterized regarding particle size, carbon, heavy metals, and polyaromatic hydrocarbon content. Macroinvertebrate samples were taken via multi-habitat sampling. The fish embryo toxicity test with D. rerio was conducted as a contact assay on the basis of DIN 38415-6. Results and discussion: The integrated assessment indicated a significant influence of heavy metals and carbon content on macroinvertebrate communities. The bioaccessibility of sediment pollutants were clearly demonstrated by the FTI, which showed a wide range of adverse effects. A significant linear relationship between metals and the FTI was detected. However, there was no statistically significant evidence that macroinvertebrate communities were affected by the hydromorphological quality elements at the sampling sites. Conclusions: The new scheme for the assessment of fish embryo toxicity test was successfully applied. The results suggest that sediment compounds impact macroinvertebrate communities and early development of fish. It demonstrates that the quality of sediments should be evaluated on a routine basis as part of an integrated river assessment.

Download full-text


Available from: Jörg Oehlmann, Oct 09, 2015
54 Reads
  • Source
    • "Then, the results from ecological indices and ecotoxicological analyses were analysed through Pearson correlations. Similarly, Bartzke et al. (2010) developed an index based on fish embryo toxicity test, the fish teratogenicity index. Observed effects were weighted according to the effect intensity and mathematically combined in an index. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The European Water Framework Directive (WFD) represents a transformation of the guidelines for water quality assessment and monitoring across all EU Member States. At present, it is widely accepted that the WFD requires holistic and multidisciplinary ecological approaches by integrating multiple lines of evidence. Within the scope of the WFD, the scientific community identified clear opportunities to take advantage of an ecotoxicological line of evidence. In this context, ecotoxicological tools, namely biomarkers and bioassays, were proposed to contribute to the integration of the chemical and biological indicators, and thus to provide an overall insight into the quality of a water body. More than one decade after the publication of the WFD, we reviewed the studies that have attempted to integrate ecotoxicological tools in the assessment of surface water bodies. For this purpose, we reviewed studies providing an ecological water status assessment through more conventional community based approaches, in which biomarkers and/or bioassays were also applied to complement the evaluation. Overall, from our review emerges that studies at community level appear suitable for assessing the ecological quality of water bodies, whereas the bioassays/biomarkers are especially useful as early warning systems and to investigate the causes of ecological impairment, allowing a better understanding of the cause–effect-relationships. In this sense, community level responses and biomarkers/bioassays seem to be clearly complementary, reinforcing the need of combining the approaches of different disciplines to achieve the best evaluation of ecosystem communities’ health.
    Ecological Indicators 01/2015; 48:8–16. DOI:10.1016/j.ecolind.2014.07.024 · 3.44 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "lethal, genotoxic or endocrine) are determined, gained more and more importance in recent years. [11] [12] [13] [14] In whole sediment bioassays the contamination situation is reflected best, yielding various benefits: the test organisms are exposed to chemical mixtures, and integrated effects of multiple contaminants with antagonistic or additive effects are considered. In addition, the aspect of bioavailability is included. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was a sediment assessment of predominantly small rivers in the German federal state of Hesse. For this purpose, sediment samples were taken at 50 study sites with different contamination levels. The benthic invertebrates Chironomus riparius (Diptera) and Lumbriculus variegatus (Oligochaeta) were used as test species and exposed to whole sediments in chronic laboratory experiments. The bioassays were carried out on the basis of OECD guidelines 218 and 225 for the testing of chemicals. For about 50 % of the study sites chemical analytical data for pollutants from environmentally important substance classes like metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls, and organotin compounds were available. These data were used to analyze correlations between effects in the bioassays and measured chemical contaminations at sampling sites. For 22 % of the sediments ecologically relevant adverse effects were observed. In the majority of these cases effects occurred in only one of the biotests, and only one sediment sample exerted a negative effect on both test organisms. There was no significant correlation between biological responses and chemical data considering substance classes. However, there was a weak positive correlation between arsenic concentration and both worm number and worm biomass as well as a weak positive correlation between single PAHs and worm biomass. In some sediment tests elevated ammonia concentrations occurred in the overlying water so that an influence of these partially toxic concentrations on the test results cannot be ruled out.
    Journal of Environmental Science and Health Part A Toxic/Hazardous Substances & Environmental Engineering 03/2012; 47(4):507-21. DOI:10.1080/10934529.2012.650545 · 1.16 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The European Water Framework Directive aims to achieve a good ecological and chemical status in surface waters until 2015. Sediment toxicology plays a major role in this intention as sediments can act as a secondary source of pollution. In order to fulfill this legal obligation, there is an urgent need to develop whole-sediment exposure protocols, since sediment contact assays represent the most realistic scenario to simulate in situ exposure conditions. Therefore, in the present study, a vertebrate sediment contact assay to determine aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR)-mediated activity of particle-bound pollutants was developed. Furthermore, the activity and the expression of the CYP1 family in early life stages of zebrafish after exposure to freeze-dried sediment samples were investigated. In order to validate the developed protocol, effects of β-naphthoflavone and three selected sediment on zebrafish embryos were investigated. Results documented clearly AhR-mediated toxicity after exposure to β-naphthoflavone (β-NF) and to the sediment from the Vering canal. Upregulation of mRNA levels was observed for all investigated sediment samples. The highest levels of all investigated cyp genes (cyp1a, cyp1b1, cyp1c1, and cyp1c2) were recorded after exposure to the sediment sample of the Vering canal. In conclusion, the newly developed sediment contact assay can be recommended for the investigation of dioxin-like activities of single substances and the bioavailable fraction of complex environmental samples. Moreover, the exposure of whole zebrafish embryos to native (freeze-dried) sediment samples represents a highly realistic and ecologically relevant exposure scenario.
    Environmental Science and Pollution Research 06/2014; DOI:10.1007/s11356-014-3185-0 · 2.83 Impact Factor
Show more