ABSTRACT: The effect of sediment-bound cadmium on several life history parameters of the benthic cladoceran Chydorus piger, was tested in the laboratory. It was investigated whether a test with C. piger is an ecologically realistic alternative for the Daphnia test applied to sediments. Therefore, a culture of C. piger was exposed to a control and five cadmium concentrations, equilibrated with natural detritus (0.036, 0.063, 0.26, 0.55 and 1.0 mmol/kg). Continuous records of growth and reproduction were made which took as long as 20 weeks. Longevity of C. piger declined markedly from 112 days to 20 days as cadmium concentrations increased. Intrinsic rate of increase and age at first reproduction (AFR) tended to be stimulated at very low doses but this effect was not significant. However, they were negatively influenced by moderate cadmium levels. While a significant cadmium effect was found for all traits investigated, the effective doses of cadmium varied strongly. C. piger was found to be even more sensitive to cadmium than for example Daphnia and Hyalella, naturally occurring cadmium levels in detritus being effective to C. piger. Experiments with a benthic cladoceran can therefore give important information about the ecological effect of cadmium and possibly other toxicants deposited in sediments.
Aquatic Toxicology 02/2002; 56(2):93-101. · 3.76 Impact Factor