John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Validation of a new standardized test method for the freshwater amphipod Hyalella azteca: Determining the chronic effects of silver in sediment

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Environment Canada has developed a new 42 day sediment toxicity test method that includes a reproduction test endpoint with the freshwater amphipod Hyalella azteca. Due to concerns that existing standard methodologies, where adults are transferred to a water‐only exposure before release of their first brood at day 28, will lead to internal contaminant depuration and loss of sensitivity, the EC methodology conducts the entire exposure in sediment. To demonstrate applicability of the method for assessing the toxicity of chemical‐spiked sediment, H. azteca were exposed for 42 days to sediment amended with silver nitrate (AgNO3). The mortality of H. azteca was significantly higher at the highest sediment concentration of Ag (2088 mg/kg dry weight); however, there was no significant reduction of biomass or reproduction due to Ag exposure despite significant bioaccumulation. Based on Ag measurements and speciation modelling, the principle route of Ag exposure was likely through the ingestion of complexed colloidal or particulate Ag. The techniques used to recover young amphipods from sediment were critical and although this effort can be labour intensive (i.e., 20 to 45 minutes per replicate), the technicians demonstrated 91% recovery in blind trials. For the first time, Environment Canada will require laboratories to report their recovery proficiency for the 42 day test ‐ without this information, data will not be accepted. Overall, the reproduction test will be more applicable where only a few chemical concentrations need to be evaluated in laboratory amended sediments or for field‐collected contaminated site assessments (i.e., contaminated site vs. reference site comparisons). This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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