John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Laboratory algal bioassays using PAM fluorometry: Effects of test conditions on the determination of herbicide and field sample toxicity

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Pulse Amplitude Modulation (PAM) fluorometry, based on chlorophyll a fluorescence, is a frequently used technique in algal bioassays to assess toxicity of single compounds or complex field samples. It is known that several test conditions can influence the test results and since a standardized test protocol is currently lacking, it is difficult to link the results of different studies. Therefore, the aim of this study was to gain insight in the effects of test conditions of laboratory algal bioassays using PAM fluorometry on the outcome of toxicity tests. To this purpose we described the results from several pilot studies on test development in which we provide information on the effects of the main test factors during the pre‐test phase, the test preparation, the exposure period and the actual measurement. The experiments were focused on individual herbicides and complex field samples and included the effects of culturing conditions, cell density, solvent concentration, exposure time and the presence of actinic light. Several of these test conditions demonstrated to influence the outcome of the toxicity test and the presented information provides important background information for the interpretation of toxicity results and describes which test conditions should be taken into account when using an algal bioassay with PAM fluorometry. Finally the application of PAM fluorometry in algal toxicity testing was discussed. Environ Toxicol Chem © 2014 SETAC

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