Influence of sediment quality on the responses of benthic invertebrates after treatment with the fungicide triphenyltin acetate

E.M. de Haas, I. Roessink, B. Verbree, A.A. Koelmans, M.H.S. Kraak, W. Admiraal

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After decades of pollution, benthic communities in floodplain lake ecosystems are likely to be exposed to a diverse assortment of sediment-bound historical toxicants and nutrients as well as pulses of newly discharged or deposited toxicants. The aim of this study was therefore to analyze the effects of background sediment pollution on the responses of benthic invertebrates to an experimental toxic shock in a laboratory setting. Sediment from a relatively clean and a historically polluted floodplain lake located along the River Waal, a branch of the River Rhine, The Netherlands, was selected, and the fungicide triphenyltin acetate (TPT) was used as the acute stressor. Juvenile stages of the mayfly Ephoron virgo and the midge Chironomus riparius were chosen as test organisms because of their different response to sediment-bound toxicants and food quantity and quality. Our results demonstrated that the type of sediment had no effect on survival and growth of C. riparius when exposed to sediment-associated TPT and that E. virgo was more affected by sediment-associated TPT on clean sediment than on polluted sediment. For the mayfly, no cumulative response of the historical pollution and the recent toxic shock was observed. This observation is discussed in view of the variable content of organic matter, acting both as food and as sorbent, and leads to the hypothesis that a very strong sequestering of TPT in historically polluted sediment prevents expression of toxic effects
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1133-1139
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • midge chironomus-riparius
  • organotin compounds
  • daphnia-magna
  • water
  • toxicity
  • tributyltin
  • bioavailability
  • behavior
  • invertebrates
  • accumulation

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