||Periphyton Photosynthesis as an Indicator of Effluent Toxicity: Relationship to Effects on Animal Test Species.
Lewis, M. A. ;
||Battelle, Columbus, OH.;Environmental Research Lab., Gulf Breeze, FL.
Water pollution effects(Animals) ;
Water pollution effects(Plants) ;
Daphnia magna ;
Pimephales promelas ;
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The use of freshwater and marine plants in effluent toxicity evaluations is uncommon despite the presence of test methods and recommendations for their use. It has been assumed that aquatic plants are less sensitive than animal test species and consequently, results from toxicity tests with invertebrates and fish have been used often as a surrogate data base. The study evaluated the ability of these animal toxicity tests to provide safe concentrations for in-stream periphyton. The toxicity of several samples of a treated municipal effluent were determined during a five-month period by monitoring short-term changes in periphyton photosynthesis (carbon-14 uptake) and by observing the effects on young production and survival of cultured daphnids and the fathead minnow. The effect levels from the various tests were compared. The effluent was seldom acutely toxic to Daphnia magna and the fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) but it was consistently acutely and chronically toxic to Ceriodaphnia dubia. Chronic effect levels ranged between 17 and 71% effluent. Significant inhibition and stimulation of periphyton photosynthesis occurred at concentrations of 6 to 39% effluent. Periphyton photosynthesis was a more sensitive effect parameter than animal survival and in some cases than Ceriodaphnia reproductive performance. The results indicate that effluent toxicity tests conducted routinely with daphnids and fish may not be sufficient to predict effects on indigenous flora in receiving waters. (Copyright (c) 1992 Elsevier Science Publishers B.V.)