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Toxicity of volcanic-ash leachate to a blue-green alga. Results of a preliminary bioassay experiment

Environmental Science and Technology

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Abstract

To assess the possible effects of volcanic ash from the May 18,1980, eruption of Mt. St. Helens, Washington, on aquatic ecosystems, we conducted a bioassay experiment with a blue-green alga, Anabaena flos-aquae. Results showed that leachate (obtained by leaching 151 g of ash with 130 mL of simulated freshwater) was lethal to Anabaena flos-aquae cultures when diluted as much as 1:100 with culture medium. Cultures exposed to a 1:500 dilution grew, but a toxic effect was indicated by abnormalities in the Anabaena filaments. This study indicates that ash from the Mt. St. Helens volcano could have an effect on aquatic ecosystems in the areas of significant ashfall. Further study is needed to determine the toxic chemical constituents in the ash and also its possible effects on other aquatic organisms.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Toxicity of volcanic-ash leachate to a blue-green alga. Results of a preliminary bioassay experiment
Series title:
Environmental Science and Technology
Volume
15
Issue:
3
Year Published:
1981
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Environmental Science and Technology
First page:
362
Last page:
364
Number of Pages:
3