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Apparent toxicity resulting from the sequestering of nutrient trace metals during standard Selenastrum capricornutum toxicity tests
Ward, T.J.; Rausina, G.A.; Stonebraker, P.M.; Robinson, W.E. (2002). Apparent toxicity resulting from the sequestering of nutrient trace metals during standard Selenastrum capricornutum toxicity tests. Aquat. Toxicol. 60(1-2): 1-16
In: Aquatic Toxicology. Elsevier Science: Tokyo; New York; London; Amsterdam. ISSN 0166-445X, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Algae; Toxicity; Trace metals; Raphidocelis subcapitata (Korshikov) Nygaard, Komárek, J.Kristiansen & O.M.Skulberg, 1987 [WoRMS]; Fresh water

Authors  Top 
  • Ward, T.J.
  • Rausina, G.A.
  • Stonebraker, P.M.
  • Robinson, W.E.

Abstract
    The water accommodated fractions (WAFs) of aqueous mixtures of three lubricant additives showed significant apparent toxicity to the freshwater alga, Selenastrum capricornutum, and experiments were conducted to investigate the hypothesis that toxicity resulted from the removal of one or more essential nutrients from the test medium by the lubricant additives. Algal growth effects were noted at ashless dispersant A concentrations as low as 0.5 mg-1 and growth was completely inhibited at 100 mg-1. Algal cells transferred from the 100 mg-1 WAF of ashless dispersant A to fresh medium at the end of a standard 96-h toxicity test resumed growing at a rate similar to growth in undosed algal medium, indicating that the effect was algistatic rather than algicidal. Fortifying the iron (Fe) and disodium ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) concentrations of the WAF with 200% of the concentrations used in the formulation of algal medium after 24 h of exposure caused a resumption of algal growth at a rate comparable to the control growth, and a resulting EL50 value above 100 mg-1. Similar effects were observed when the two other lubricant additives were tested at WAF concentrations that completely inhibited algal growth during standard toxicity tests: fortification of a 50 mg-1 WAF of ZnDTP with 1000% of the Fe and EDTA used in the formulation of algal medium caused a resumption of growth at a rate statistically identical to the control growth, and the fortification of a 2800 mg-1 WAF of ashless dispersant B with 700% of the entire complement of nutrients used in the formulation of algal medium caused a resumption of growth at a rate comparable to the control. The indirect toxic effect of these lubricant additives to algae results from the sequestration of one or more nutrient metals essential for algal growth. Standard algal toxicity tests with these lubricant additives may, therefore, have little environmental relevance because the complex chemistry of natural waters differs greatly from the nutrient limited algal medium, and the sequestration effect observed in these static tests could be absent under real world conditions.

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