Article

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: 2.11). 04/2010; 10(3):389-399. DOI: 10.1007/s11368-009-0170-1

ABSTRACT PurposeThe 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 methodsSediment 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 discussionThe 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.

ConclusionsThe 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.

KeywordsBioassay-
Danio rerio
-Fish teratogenicity index-Macroinvertebrates-Metals-Sediment toxicity

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