John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Temperature and food concentration have limited influence on the mixture toxicity of copper and Microcystis aeruginosa to Daphnia magna

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Standard ecotoxicity tests are conducted under constant and favorable experimental conditions. In natural communities, however, the toxicity of chemicals may be influenced by abiotic and biotic environmental factors. Firstly, the authors examined the influence of temperature and total food concentration on the nature of the combined effects of copper (Cu) and the cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa to Daphnia magna (i.e., whether the combined effects deviated from noninteraction). Secondly, the authors investigated the relative influence of the percentage of M. aeruginosa in the diet, temperature, and total food concentration on chronic Cu toxicity to D. magna. The nature of the combined effects between Cu and M. aeruginosa (i.e., synergism according to the independent action reference model and noninteraction according to concentration addition reference model) was not affected by temperature and total food concentration. In line with other studies, the concentration addition reference model gave rise to more protective predictions of mixture toxicity than the independent action reference model, thus confirming the former model's suitability as a conservative scenario for evaluating mixture toxicity of Cu and M. aeruginosa under the temperature and food concentrations tested. Further, the 21‐d median effective concentration for Cu based on reproduction varied between 20 μg/L and 100 μg/L, and the results indicate that the percentage of M. aeruginosa explained 76% of the variance in the Cu median effective concentration for reproduction, whereas the effects of temperature and total food were limited (together explaining 11% of the variance). The present study suggests that environmental risk assessment of Cu should consider specific situations where harmful M. aeruginosa blooms can co‐occur with elevated Cu exposure. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;9999:1–8. © 2015 SETAC

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