Sediment quality assessment studies of Tampa bay, Florida

Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
By: , and 



A survey of the toxicity of sediments throughout the Tampa Bay estuary was performed as part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Status and Trends Program. The objectives of the survey were to determine the spatial extent and severity of toxicity and to identify relationships between chemical contamination and toxicity. Three independent toxicity tests were performed: a 10-d amphipod survival test of the whole sediments with Ampelisca abdita, a sea urchin fertilization test of sediment pore water with Arbacia punctulata, and a 5-min Microtox® bioluminescence test with solvent extracts of the sediments. Seventy-three percent of the 165 undiluted sediment pore-water samples were significantly toxic relative to reference samples with the sea urchin fertilization test. In contrast, only 2% of the 165 samples were significantly toxic in the amphipod tests. The causes of toxicity were not determined. However, concentrations of numerous trace metals, pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and ammonia were highly correlated with pore-water toxicity. Concentrations of many substances, especially total dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes (DDTs), endrin, total PCBs, certain PAHs, lead, and zinc, occurred at concentrations in the toxic samples that equaled or exceeded concentrations that have been previously associated with sediment toxicity.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Sediment quality assessment studies of Tampa bay, Florida
Series title Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
DOI 10.1002/etc.5620150730
Volume 15
Issue 7
Year Published 1996
Language English
Publisher Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Contributing office(s) Columbia Environmental Research Center
Description 14 p.
First page 1218
Last page 1231
Country United States
State Florida
Other Geospatial Tampa Bay
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