Toxicity assessment of sediments from three European river basins using a sediment contact test battery
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Ecotoxicology and environmental safety. - New York
, p. 123-131
University of Antwerp
The toxicity of four polluted sediments and their corresponding reference sediments from three European river basins were investigated using a battery of six sediment contact tests representing three different trophic levels. The tests included were chronic tests with the oligochaete Lumbriculus variegatus, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and the mudsnail Potamopyrgus antipodarum, a sub-chronic test with the midge Chironomus riparius, an early life stage test with the zebra fish Danio rerio, and an acute test with the luminescent bacterium Vibrio fischeri. The endpoints, namely survival, growth, reproduction, embryo development and light inhibition, differed between tests. The measured effects were compared to sediment contamination translated into toxic units (TU) on the basis of acute toxicity to Daphnia magna and Pimephales promelas, and multi-substance Potentially Affected Fractions of species (msPAF) as an estimate for expected community effects. The test battery could clearly detect toxicity of the polluted sediments with test-specific responses to the different sediments. The msPAF and TU-based toxicity estimations confirmed the results of the biotests by predicting a higher toxic risk for the polluted sediments compared to the corresponding reference sediments, but partly having a different emphasis from the biotests. The results demonstrate differences in the sensitivities of species and emphasize the need for data on multiple species, when estimating the effects of sediment pollution on the benthic community.