Toxicity of sediments from lead-zinc mining areas to juvenile freshwater mussels (Lampsilis siliquoidea) compared to standard test organisms

Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
By: , and 

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Abstract

Sediment toxicity tests compared chronic effects on survival, growth, and biomass of juvenile freshwater mussels (28-d exposures with Lampsilis siliquoidea) to the responses of standard test organisms—amphipods (28-d exposures with Hyalella azteca) and midges (10-d exposures with Chironomus dilutus)—in sediments from 2 lead–zinc mining areas: the Tri-State Mining District and Southeast Missouri Mining District. Mussel tests were conducted in sediments sieved to <0.25 mm to facilitate recovery of juvenile mussels (2–4 mo old). Sediments were contaminated primarily with lead, zinc, and cadmium, with greater zinc and cadmium concentrations in Tri-State sediments and greater lead concentrations in southeast Missouri sediments. The frequency of highly toxic responses (reduced 10% or more relative to reference sites) in Tri-State sediments was greatest for amphipod survival (25% of samples), midge biomass (20%), and mussel survival (14%). In southeast Missouri sediments, the frequency of highly toxic samples was greatest for mussel biomass (25%) and amphipod biomass (13%). Thresholds for metal toxicity to mussels, expressed as hazard quotients based on probable effect concentrations, were lower for southeast Missouri sediments than for Tri-State sediments. Southeast Missouri sites with toxic sediments had 2 or fewer live mussel taxa in a concurrent mussel population survey, compared with 7 to 26 taxa at reference sites. These results demonstrate that sediment toxicity tests with juvenile mussels can be conducted reliably by modifying existing standard methods; that the sensitivity of mussels to metals can be similar to or greater than standard test organisms; and that responses of mussels in laboratory toxicity tests are consistent with effects on wild mussel populations.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Toxicity of sediments from lead-zinc mining areas to juvenile freshwater mussels (Lampsilis siliquoidea) compared to standard test organisms
Series title Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
DOI 10.1002/etc.2849
Volume 34
Issue 3
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Contributing office(s) Columbia Environmental Research Center, Contaminant Biology Program
Description 14 p.
First page 626
Last page 639
Country United States
State Missouri
Other Geospatial Southeast Missouri Mining District, Tri-State Mining District
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N