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Field validation of sediment zinc toxicity
Burton, GA.; Nguyen, L.T.H.; Janssen, C.R.; Baudo, R.; McWilliam, R.; Bossuyt, B.T.A.; Beltramini, M.; Green, A.S. (2005). Field validation of sediment zinc toxicity. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 24(3): 541-553
In: Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. Setac Press: New York. ISSN 0730-7268, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 

    Colonization; Ecotoxicology; Heavy metals; Risk analysis; Sediments; Toxicity; Volatile compounds; Zinc; Fresh water

Authors  Top 
  • Burton, GA.
  • Nguyen, L.T.H.
  • Janssen, C.R., more
  • Baudo, R.
  • McWilliam, R.
  • Bossuyt, B.T.A., more
  • Beltramini, M.
  • Green, A.S.

    A field study was conducted to validate concentrations of zinc in freshwater sediments that are tolerated by benthic macroinvertebrate communities and to determine whether a relationship exists with the acid volatile sulfide (AVS)-simultaneously extracted metal (SEM) model. In both the lake and riverine systems, one sediment type was high in AVS and one low in AVS, which resulted in zinc-spiked sediments that ranged from low to high SEM to AVS ratios. The colonization trays were sampled seasonally, ranging from 6 to 37 weeks of exposure, and were evaluated using several appropriate benthic indices. Results of the field evaluations at the four test sites confirmed the validity of the AVS-SEM model, predicting benthic macroinvertebrate effects correctly 92% of the time. In sediments where the SEM to AVS ratio or the AVS and organic (OC)-normalized fractions exceeded 8 and 583 μmol/g of OC, toxicity was observed from the zinc-spiked sediments. Conversely, when the SEM to AVS ratio or OC-normalized AVS fractions were less than 2 or 100 μmol/g of OC, no toxicity was observed. In the range of 148 to 154 μmol/g of OC, toxicity varied in two treatments. Total zinc concentrations in sediments showed no relationship to benthic effects. The most impaired benthic community occurred in the high-gradient stream sediments, which had low OC and AVS concentrations and SEM to AVS ratios of 33 and 44 in the spiked sediments. Five to six benthic metrics were depressed at SEM to AVS ratios of 8.32 and 9.73. The no-observed-effect level appeared to be near a SEM to AVS ratio of 2, with slight to no effects between ratios of 2.34 and 2.94. No sites with ratios of less than 2 showed any adverse effects.

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