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Journal Article 
Importance of dose metrics for lethal and sublethal sediment metal toxicity in the oligochaete worm Lumbriculus variegates 
Penttinen, OP; Kilpi-Koski, J; Jokela, M; Toivainen, K; Väisänen, A 
Journal of Soils and Sediments
ISSN: 1439-0108
EISSN: 1614-7480 
Background, Aim and Scope. There is an increasing demand for controlled toxicity tests to predict biological effects related to sediment metal contamination. In this context, questions of metal-specific factors, sensitivity of toxicity endpoints, and variability in exposure duration arise. In addition, the choice of the dose metrics for responses is equally important and is related to the applicability of the concept of critical body residue (CBR) in exposure assessments, as well as being the main focus of this study. Methods. Experiments were conducted to assess toxicity of Cd, Cr, Cu and Pb to the oligochaete worm Lumbriculus variegatus with the aim of determining CBRs for two response metrics. Mortality and feeding activity of worms exposed to sediment-spiked metals were used as end-points in connection with residue analyses from both the organisms and the surrounding media. Results. LC50 values were 0.3, 1.4, 5.2, and 6.7 mg/L (from 4.7 µmol/L to 128.0 µmol/L), and the order of toxicity, from most toxic to least toxic, was Cu > Cd > Pb > Cr. By relating toxicity to body residue, variability in toxicity among the metals decreased and the order of toxicity was altered. The highest lethal residue value was obtained for Cu (10.8 mmol/kg) and the lowest was obtained for Cd (2.3 mmol/kg). In the 10-d sublethal test, both time and metal exposure were an important source of variation in the feeding activity of worms. The significant treatment effects were observed from worms exposed to Cd or Pb, with the controls yielding the highest feeding rate. However, quantitative changes in the measured end-point did not correlate with the exposure concentrations or body residues, which remained an order of magnitude lower than in the acute exposures. Discussion. Both response metrics were able to detect a toxic effect of the metals. However, the ranking of metal toxicity was dependant on the choice of the dose metric used. An attempt to form a causal mortality-mediated link between tissue residues and metal toxicity was successful in water-only exposures. The results also indicated that egestion rate was a sensitive toxicity end-point for predicting the effects of sediment contamination. Conclusions. By relating the biological response with the tissue metal residues, toxicity data was comparable to both environmental media as well as different response metrics and time scales. The results also revealed the importance of metal toxicity ranking on a molar basis and, furthermore, a direct link to the CBR concept was established. Recommendations and Perspectives. There is a growing demand for methods to assess the effects of contaminated sediments to benthic fauna and whole aquatic ecosystems. Such information is needed for sediment quality guidelines that are currently being developed in many countries and remediation processes. The use of body residues as a dose metric in metal toxicity studies may help to overcome difficulties related to bioavailability issues commonly faced in sediment toxicity studies. 
cadmium; chromium; copper; feeding behaviour; lead; mortality; polluted water; sediment; toxicity; water pollution; water quality; Lumbricus; Lumbricidae; Oligochaeta; Annelida; invertebrates; animals; eukaryotes; behavior; death rate; feeding behavior; Lumbriculus variegatus; water composition and quality; Aquatic Biology and Ecology (MM300); Water Resources (PP200); Pollution and Degradation (PP600); Industrial Wastes and Effluents (XX400) 
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