Contrasting sensitivities to toxicants of the freshwater amphipods Gammarus pulex and G. fossarum

A. Alonso, H.J. de Lange, E.T.H.M. Peeters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Amphipods are an important component of freshwater ecosystems. They are very often used in ecotoxicology, particularly the freshwater amphipod Gammarus pulex. However, there is scarce information on the sensitivity to toxicants of other species within the genus Gammarus. The present study aims to: (1) to compare sensitivities to ivermectin and cadmium between two species of freshwater amphipods (G. pulex and G. fossarum); (2) to compare sensitivities to these toxicants between juveniles and adults within each species; and (3) to assess whether the sensitivity to toxicants of these co-generic species is related with the wideness of their natural distribution area. Eight independent short-term bioassays (96 h) were conducted to assess sensitivity for ivermectin and cadmium for juvenile and adult life stages for each species. The LC50 (mortality) and EC50 (mortality plus immobility) were calculated to 48 and 96 h of continuous exposure. Our results showed that G. pulex was less tolerant to ivermectin than G. fossarum, the reverse being true for cadmium. In general, juveniles of both species were less tolerant to cadmium than adults. In the case of ivermectin, only for G. fossarum EC50 values were different between life stages. These results suggest that the risk assessment of toxicants to freshwater amphipods should include bioassays with the most sensitive species and life stage
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-140
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • asellus-aquaticus l
  • behavioral-responses
  • unionized ammonia
  • feeding-activity
  • toxicity tests
  • life-stages
  • crustacea
  • cadmium
  • invertebrates
  • metals

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