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Effect of humic acids on speciation and toxicity of copper to Paracentrotus lividus larvae in seawater
Lorenzo, J.I.; Nieto, O.; Beiras, R. (2002). Effect of humic acids on speciation and toxicity of copper to Paracentrotus lividus larvae in seawater. Aquat. Toxicol. 58(1-2): 27-41
In: Aquatic Toxicology. Elsevier Science: Tokyo; New York; London; Amsterdam. ISSN 0166-445X; e-ISSN 1879-1514, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Acids > Organic compounds > Organic acids > Humic acids
    Analytical techniques > Stripping analysis
    Chemical elements > Metals > Transition elements > Heavy metals > Copper
    Chemical speciation
    Developmental stages > Larvae
    Evolution > Speciation
    Properties > Biological properties > Toxicity
    Sea urchins
    Sea urchins
    Speciation
    Voltammetry
    Paracentrotus lividus (Lamarck, 1816) [WoRMS]
    Marine/Coastal

Authors  Top 
  • Lorenzo, J.I., editor
  • Nieto, O.
  • Beiras, R.

Abstract
    The effects of humic acid (HA) on the toxicity of copper to sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus larvae were studied in chemically defined seawater. Square Wave Anodic Stripping Voltammetry (SWASV) was employed to study the complexation of copper in seawater medium. A simple complexation model assuming one ligand type and a 1:1 reaction stoichiometry successfully explained the inverse titration experiments. A conditional stability constant of 6.53 ± 0.05 and a complexating capacity of 230 ± 7 mol Cu/g HA were obtained. Sea urchin bioassay tests with two endpoints, embryogenesis success and larval growth were carried out in order to study the toxicity of dissolved copper in both the presence and absence of HA. The toxicity data obtained fitted well into a logistic model, and the high sensitivity of both endpoints (EC50 were 41.1 µg Cu/l and 32.9 µg Cu/l, respectively) encourages their use for biomonitoring. The HA had a clearly protective effect, reducing the toxicity of Cu to the sea urchin larvae. The labile copper, rather than the total copper concentrations, explained the toxicity of the Cu-HA solutions, and the Cu-HA complexes appeared as non-toxic forms. These results are in agreement with the Free Ion Activity Model, because the labile Cu concentrations in this buffered and chemically defined medium covary with the free ion activity of the Cu, validating the model to naturally occurring HA in the marine environment.

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