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Acute waterborne copper toxicity to the euryhaline copepod Acartia tonsa at different salinities: Influence of natural freshwater and marine dissolved organic matter

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The influence of natural dissolved organic matter (DOM) on acute waterborne copper toxicity was evaluated in the euryhaline copepod Acartia tonsa at three different water salinities. Three sources of freshwater DOM (extracted by reverse osmosis) and two sources of marine DOM (extracted using a solid‐phase technique) were used. Artificial salt water was used to prepare the experimental media. Different combinations of copper concentrations and DOM sources and concentrations were tested at salinities 5, 15 and 30 ppt. Toxicity data (48‐h LC50 values) were calculated based on dissolved copper concentrations. In a broad view, data showed that increasing salinity was protective against the acute waterborne copper toxicity. In general, copper toxicity was also lower in the presence than in the absence of DOM. Toxicity (48‐h LC50) values from all treatments at the same salinity showed a positive linear relationship with the DOC concentration. Thus, the protective effect of DOM against the acute copper toxicity was seems to be mainly dependent on the DOM concentration. However, it seems to be also dependent in some extent on the source of DOM used. In summary, findings reported in the present study clearly indicate that both salinity and DOM (source and concentration) should be taken into account in the development of an estuarine version of the Biotic Ligand Model. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. © 2013 SETAC

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