Response of the amphipod Hyalella azteca exposed to contaminated sediments for 10 to 42 d in laboratory toxicity tests was compared to responses observed in controlled three-month invertebrate colonization exposures conducted in a pond. Sediments evaluated included a sediment spiked with dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane (DDD) or dilutions of a field sediment collected from the Grand Calumet River (GCR) in Indiana (USA) (contaminated with organic compounds and metals). Consistent effects were observed at the highest exposure concentrations (400 ??g DDD/goc [DDD concentrations normalized to grams of organic carbon (goc) in sedimentl or 4% GCR sediment) on survival, length, and reproduction of amphipods in the laboratory and on abundance of invertebrates colonizing sediments in the field. Effect concentrations for DDD observed for 10-d length and 42-d reproduction of amphipods (e.g., chronic value [ChV] of 66 ??g DDD/goc and 25% inhibition concentration [IC25] of 68 ??g DDD/goc for reproduction) were similar to the lowest effect concentrations for DDD measured on invertebrates colonizing sediment the field. Effect concentrations for GCR sediment on 28-d survival and length and 42-d reproduction and length of amphipods (i.e., ChVs of 0.20-0.66% GCR sediment) provided more conservative effect concentrations compared to 10-d survival or length of amphipods in the laboratory or the response of invertebrates colonizing sediment in the field (e.g., ChVs of 2.2% GCR sediment). Results of this study indicate that use of chronic laboratory toxicity tests with H. azteca and benthic colonization studies should be used to provide conservative estimates of impacts on benthic communities exposed to contaminated sediments. Bioaccumulation of DDD by oligochaetes colonizing the DDD-spiked sediment was similar to results of laboratory sediment tests previously conducted with the oligochaete Lumbriculus variegates, confirming that laboratory exposures can be used to estimate bioaccumulation by oligochaetes exposed in the field. ?? 2005 SETAC.