Contaminated sediments and bioassay responses of three macroinvertebrates, the midge larva Chironomus riparius, the water louse Asellus aquaticus and the mayfly nymph Ephoron virgo

H.J. de Lange, E.M. de Haas, H. Maas, E.T.H.M. Peeters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Bioassays are widely used to estimate ecological risks of contaminated sediments. We compared the results of three whole sediment bioassays, using the midge larva Chironomus riparius, the water louse Asellus aquaticus, and the mayfly nymph Ephoron virgo. We used sediments from sixteen locations in the Dutch Rhine-Meuse Delta that differed in level of contamination. Previously developed protocols for each bioassay were followed, which differed in sediment pretreatment, replication, and food availability. The Chironomus bioassay was conducted in situ, whereas the other two were conducted in the laboratory. The measured endpoints, survival and growth, were related to contaminant levels in the sediment and to food quantity in water and sediment. Only the response of A. aquaticus in the bioassay was correlated with sediment contamination. Food availability in overlying water was much more important for C. riparius and E. virgo, thereby masking potential sediment contaminant effects. We conclude that growth of A. aquaticus was depressed by sediment contamination, whereas growth of E. virgo and C. riparius was stimulated by seston food quantity. We discuss that the trophic state of the ecosystem largely affects the ecological risks of contaminated sediments
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1700-1709
JournalChemosphere
Volume61
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Keywords

  • floodplain lake-sediments
  • acid volatile sulfide
  • rhine-meuse delta
  • benthic invertebrates
  • cadmium accumulation
  • in-situ
  • community structure
  • hyalella-azteca
  • gammarus-pulex
  • toxicity tests

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