[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study reports on the development and application of a whole sediment toxicity test using a benthic cladoceran Chydorus sphaericus, as an alternative for the use of pelagic daphnids. A C. sphaericus laboratory culture was started and its performance under control conditions was optimised. The test was firstly validated by determining dose-response relationships for aqueous cadmium and copper and ammonia, showing a sensitivity of C. sphaericus (96 h LC(50) values of 594 microg Cd/L, 191 microg Cu/L and 46 mg ammonia/L at pH 8) similar to that of daphnids. Next, sediment was introduced into the test system and a series of contaminated sediments from polluted locations were tested. A significant negative correlation between survival and toxicant concentrations was observed. It is concluded that the test developed in the present study using the benthic cladoceran C. sphaericus is suitable for routine laboratory sediment toxicity testing.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In order to identify the cause of toxicity in sediments and suspended matter, a large number of samples with different degrees of contamination was taken at various locations in The Netherlands. Standard acute bioassays were carried out with the bacterium Vibrio fischeri, the rotifer Brachionus calyciflorus and the anostracan Thamnocephalus platyurus. Chronic standard tests were performed using the water flea Daphnia magna and larvae of the midge Chironomus riparius. Some novel bioassays were performed as well. Most toxic effects observed in standard bioassays with sediments from polluted sediments (class 3 and 4 on a scale of 0-4 according to the Dutch criteria) could be partly explained by toxic concentrations of known persistent priority pollutants, mainly heavy metals and occasionally polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. In some of the samples, ammonia toxicity was a confounding factor during testing. Suspended matter from the Meuse river at Eijsden, which may be considered as 'new' sediment (pollution class 2), was moderately to highly toxic in almost all bioassays. This could have been associated with a combination of heavy metals, PAHs and ammonia. At two locations from the Lake IJssel area with no apparent persistent pollution, moderate and strong effects were nonetheless observed in invertebrate tests. This might have been due to agricultural run-off of pesticides, which are not routinely measured in sediments. A few effects on V. fischeri in canals and a small stream could not be explained with standard chemical analysis, but seemed associated with the outlets of sewage water treatment plants and industrial effluents. Additional chemical analysis of pore water samples from five selected sediments yielded more identified substances such as phtalates, decanes, cosanes and fragrances, but it was estimated that their contribution to the effects observed on V. fischeri, D. magna and C. riparius was negligible.
Water Research 05/2003; 37(8):1691-710. · 5.32 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ability of the non-biting midge Chironomus riparius to survive and reproduce in metal polluted lowland rivers facilitates the opportunity to study micro-evolutionary processes in situ. However, due to larval drift, adapted midge populations are subject to regular immigration of non-adapted specimens from clean upstream river reaches. To examine the influence of non-adapted genes in adapted midge populations on the level of metal adaptation, an upstream and downstream chironomid population were crossbred on eight separate occasions in the laboratory to mimic gene flow. Several life-history characteristics, indicating adaptation to metals, were followed seasonally in the parental strains as well as in the reciprocal crossings. Such crossings were done over a 14-month period and maternal effects were found to be absent, indicating a major genetic component for the increased metal tolerance in the exposed midge populations. Furthermore, results confirmed the presence of adaptation to metals in exposed chironomids. However, a rapid loss of metal adaptation in the first generation hybrid offspring was clearly demonstrated. Consequently, the large temporal variation in metal adaptation in midge populations from the river can be explained by the earlier reported seasonal variations in selection pressure and immigration rates from non-adapted sub-populations.