Toxicity of metal-contaminated sediments from the upper Clark Fork River, Montana, to aquatic invertebrates and fish in laboratory exposures

Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
By: , and 

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Abstract

Sediments of the upper Clark Fork River, from the Butte and Anaconda area to Milltown Reservoir (230 km downstream), are contaminated with As, Cd, Cu, Pb, Mn, and Zn primarily from mining activities. The toxicity of pore water from these sediments was determined using Daphnia magna (48-h exposure), rainbow trout (96-h exposure), and Microtox®. However, pore-water data from these exposures were questionable because of changes in the toxicity of pore-water samples after 5 to 7 d of storage. Whole-sediment tests were conducted with Hyalella azteca (28-d exposure), Chironomus riparius (14-d exposure), rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) 21- to 28-d exposure and Daphnia magna (2- to 22-d exposure). Sediment samples from Milltown Reservoir and the Clark Fork River were not generally lethal to test organisms. However, both reduced growth and delayed sexual maturation of amphipods were associated with exposure to elevated concentrations of metals in sediments from the reservoir and river. Relative sensitivity (most sensitive to least sensitive) of organisms in whole-sediment toxicity tests was: Hyalella azteca > Chironomus riparius > rainbow trout > Daphnia magna. Relative sensitivity (most sensitive to least sensitive) of the three end points evaluated with Hyalella azteca was: length > sexual maturation > survival. The lack of lethal effects on organisms may be related to temporal differences in sediment, acid-volatile sulfide, or organic carbon.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Toxicity of metal-contaminated sediments from the upper Clark Fork River, Montana, to aquatic invertebrates and fish in laboratory exposures
Series title Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
DOI 10.1002/etc.5620131212
Volume 13
Issue 12
Year Published 1994
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Contributing office(s) Columbia Environmental Research Center
Description 13 p.
First page 1985
Last page 1997
Country United States
State Montana
Other Geospatial Clark Fork River