Methods of Assessing the Toxicity of Sediment-associated Contaminants with Estuarine and Marine Amphipods


A laboratory methods is described for determining the short-term toxicity of contaminated whole sediments using marine and estuarine amphipod crustaceans. Sediments may be collected from estuarine or marine environmentas or spiked with compounds in the laboratory. A test method is outlined that may be used with any of four amphipod species, including Ampelisca abdita, Eohaustorius estuarius, Leptocheirus plumulosus, and Rhepoxynius abronius. The toxicity test is conducted for 10 d in 1 L glass chambers containing 175 mL of sediment and 800 mL of overlying water. Overlying water is not renewed, and test organisms are not fed during the toxicity tests. Temperature and salinity of overlying water, and choice of negative control sediment, are species-specific. The choice of reference sediment may also be species-specific under certain applications. The endpoint in the toxicity test is survival, and reburial of surviving amphipods is an additional measurement that can be used as an endpoint. Procedures are described for use with sediments from oligohaline to fully marine environments.


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sediments, toxicity, biological indicators, environmental protection