Sensitivities of Australian and New Zealand amphipods to copper and zinc in waters and metal-spiked sediments

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Journal Article
Chemosphere, 2006, 63 (9), pp. 1466 - 1476
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The sensitivities of eight benthic amphipods, Chaetocorophium cf. lucasi, Corophium colo, Grandidierella japonica, Hyale crassicornis, Hyale longicornis, Melita awa, Melita matilda and Melita plumulosa, to copper and zinc in water-only and whole-sediment toxicity tests were compared. Whole-sediment tests used copper- (1300 mg/kg) and zinc- (4000 mg/kg) spiked sediments after equilibration for sufficient time to produce pore water and overlying water concentrations below the lowest observable effect concentrations of water-only exposures. Survival of adults (after 10 d) and juveniles (after 96 h), and the metal concentrations in the body tissues of adults, were determined at the end of the tests. Two epibenthic amphipods from the genus Melita were the most sensitive species to aqueous copper and zinc, with a 96-h LC50 value of 120 μg Cu/l for both M. awa and M. plumulosa juveniles, and a 96-h LC50 value of 640 μg Zn/l for juveniles of M. plumulosa. Juvenile amphipods (7-d old) were more sensitive than adult amphipods (>30-d old) in both water-only and whole-sediment tests, with adult-LC50/juvenile-LC50 ratios in water-only tests ranging from 1.2 to l.5 for copper and 1 to 1.4 for zinc. All species except C. colo, C. cf. lucasi and M. matilda were sensitive to the copper-spiked sediment, with survival between 14% and 74% of controls. Similarly, all species except C. colo and G. japonica, showed a response to the zinc-spiked sediment (26-81% of control survival). The epibenthic amphipods were more sensitive than the infaunal tube-dwelling amphipods and are recommended as test species. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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