Assessment of selenium effects in lotic ecosystems

Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety
By:  and 



The selenium literature has grown substantially in recent years to encompass new information in a variety of areas. Correspondingly, several different approaches to establishing a new water quality criterion for selenium have been proposed since establishment of the national water quality criterion in 1987. Diverging viewpoints and interpretations of the selenium literature have lead to opposing perspectives on issues such as establishing a national criterion based on a sediment-based model, using hydrologic units to set criteria for stream reaches, and applying lentic-derived effects to lotic environments. This Commentary presents information on the lotic verse lentic controversy. Recently, an article was published that concluded that no adverse effects were occurring in a cutthroat trout population in a coldwater river with elevated selenium concentrations (C. J. Kennedy, L. E. McDonald, R. Loveridge, and M. M. Strosher, 2000, Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 39, 46–52). This article has added to the controversy rather than provided further insight into selenium toxicology. Information, or rather missing information, in the article has been critically reviewed and problems in the interpretations are discussed.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Assessment of selenium effects in lotic ecosystems
Series title Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety
DOI 10.1006/eesa.2001.2111
Volume 50
Issue 3
Year Published 2001
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Columbia Environmental Research Center
Description 6 p.
First page 161
Last page 166