A comparison of sediment toxicity test methods at three Great Lake Areas of Concern

Journal of Great Lakes Research
By: , and 

Links

Abstract

The significance of sediment contamination is often evaluated using sediment toxicity (bioassay) testing. There are relatively few “standardized” test methods for evaluating sediments. Popular sediment toxicity methods examine the extractable water (elutriate), interstitial water, or whole (bulk) sediment phases using test species spanning the aquatic food chain from bacteria to fish. The current study was designed to evaluate which toxicity tests were most useful in evaluations of sediment contamination at three Great Lake Areas of Concern. Responses of 24 different organisms including fish, mayflies, amphipods, midges, cladocerans, rotifers, macrophytes, algae, and bacteria were compared using whole sediment or elutriate toxicity assays. Sediments from several sites in the Buffalo River, Calumet River (Indiana Harbor), and Saginaw River were tested, as part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (USEPA) Assessment and Remediation of Contaminated Sediments (ARCS) Project. Results indicated several assays to be sensitive to sediment toxicity and able to discriminate between differing levels of toxicity. Many of the assay responses were significantly correlated to other toxicity responses and were similar based on factor analysis. For most applications, a test design consisting of two to three assays should adequately detect sediment toxicity, consisting of various groupings of the following species: Hyalella azteca, Ceriodaphnia dubia, Chironomus riparius, Chironomus tentans, Daphnia magna, Pimephales promelas, Hexagenia bilineata, Diporeia sp., Hydrilla verticillata, or Lemna minor.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title A comparison of sediment toxicity test methods at three Great Lake Areas of Concern
Series title Journal of Great Lakes Research
DOI 10.1016/S0380-1330(96)70975-9
Volume 22
Issue 3
Year Published 1996
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Columbia Environmental Research Center
Description 17 p.
First page 495
Last page 511