Acute toxicity tests with reconstituted water were conducted to investigate the relationship between water hardness, salinity, and a mixture of trace elements found in irrigation drain waters entering Stillwater Wildlife Management Area (SWMA), near Fallon, Nevada. The SWMA has been the site of many fish kills in recent years, and previous toxicity studies indicated that one drain water, Pintail Bay, was acutely toxic to organisms acclimated or cultured in fresh water or salt water. This toxicity could reflect both the ionic composition of this saline water and the presence of trace elements. The lowest water salinity tested with Daphnia magna was near the upper salinity tolerance of these organisms; therefore, we were unable to differentiate between the toxic effects of ion composition and those of trace elements. In toxicity tests conducted with striped bass (Morone saxatilis), we found that the extent to which salinity was lethal to striped bass depended on the ion composition of that salinity. Survival of striped bass increased as hardness increased. In addition, a trace element mixture was toxic to striped bass, even though the concentrations of individual elements were below expected acutely lethal concentrations. Although salinity is an important water quality characteristic, the ionic composition of the water must be considered when one assesses the hazard of irrigation drain waters to aquatic organisms.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Toxicity of trace element and salinity mixtures to striped bass (Morone saxatilis) and Daphnia magna|
|Series title||Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry|
|Contributing office(s)||Columbia Environmental Research Center|
|Other Geospatial||Stillwater Wildlife Management Area|