Methods for Assessing the Chronic Toxicity of Marine and Estuarine Sediment-associated Contaminants with the Amphipod Leptocheirus plumulosus - First Edition


A laboratory method is described for determining the chronic toxicity of contaminants associated with whole sediments. Sediments may be collected from estuarine or marine environments or spiked with compounds in the laboratory. The toxicity method outlined uses an estuarine crustacean, the amphipod Leptocheirus plumulosus. The toxicity test is conducted for 28 d in 1-L glass chambers containing 175 mL of sediment and about 725 mL of overlying water. Test temperature is 25 degrees +/- 2 degrees Celcius, and the recommended overlying water salinity is 5 parts per thousand +/- 2 ppt (for test sediment with pore water at 1 ppt to 10 ppt) or 20 ppt +/- 2 ppt (for test sediment with pore water >10 ppt). Four hundred milliliters of overlying water is renewed three times per week, at which times test organisms are fed. The endpoints in the toxicity test are survival, growth, and reproduction of amphipods. Performance criteria established for this test include the average survival of amphipods in negative control treatment must be greater than or equal to 80% and there must be measurable growth and reproduction in all replicates of the negative control treatment. This test is applicable for use with sediments from oligohaline to fully marine environments, with a silt content greater than 5% and a clay content less than 85%.


130 pages; available for download at the link below.


sediments -- toxicity, estuarine sediments, sediment quality, environmental protection