John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Biotic ligand modelling approach: Synthesis of the effect of major cations on the toxicity of metals to soil and aquatic organisms

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The biotic ligand model (BLM) approach is used to assess metal toxicity, taking into account the competition of other cations with the free metal ions for binding to the biotic ligand sites of aquatic and soil organisms. The bioavailable fraction of metals, represented by the free metal ion, is a better measure than the total concentration for assessing their potential risk to the environment. Since BLMs are relating toxicity to the fraction of biotic ligands occupied by the metal, they can be useful for investigating factors affecting metal bioaccumulation and toxicity. In this review, the effects of major cations on the toxicity of metals to soil and aquatic organisms were comprehensively studied by performing a meta‐analysis of BLM literature data. Interactions at the binding sites showed to be species‐ and metal‐specific. Ca2+, Mg2+, and protons appeared to be the main factors affecting the relationships between toxicity and conditional binding constants for metal binding at the biotic ligand. Other important characteristics of the exposure medium, such as levels of dissolved organic carbon and concentrations of other cations, should also be considered for obtaining a proper assessment of metal toxicity to soil and aquatic organisms. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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