John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Physiological effects of essential metals on two detritivores: Atyaephyra desmarestii (Millet) and Echinogammarus meridionalis (Pinkster)

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Freshwater ecosystems are essential for humans, however the input of several types of contamination lead to the degradation of these ecosystems. Thus, it is urgent to assess their health in order to allow actions for prevention and remediation. The level of trace metals can be enhanced due to natural or anthropogenic sources. Essential metals, like copper and zinc, become toxic when are present in the environment above threshold concentrations. In order to evaluate the physiological effects of these two essential metals for two freshwater detritivores, the shrimp Atyaephyra desmarestii and the amphipod Echinogammarus meridionalis, acute tests were performed. Forty‐eight hours LC50 values were estimated for these species using static bioassays with copper and zinc. Sub‐lethal assays for both metals with several phases were also done to evaluate the effects on feeding behaviour. The LC50 values of copper for the shrimp A. desmarestii and amphipod E. meridionalis were 0.128 and 0.050 mg/l, respectively, and for zinc were 7.951 and 11.860 mg/l, respectively. The results indicated that copper is more toxic to both species. Only E. meridionalis showed deleterious effects of copper on feeding rate. Zinc showed some tendency for feeding inhibition in both species. All rights reserved

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