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Comparative ecotoxicity of suspended sediment in the lower Rhone River using algal fractionation, Microtox® and Daphnia magna bioassays

Larbaigt, Gérard
Rossel, D.
Echeverria, MA
Tarradellas, J.
McCarthy, L.
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Published in Hydrobiologia. 1993, vol. 252
Abstract The toxicity associated with suspended sediments from the Rhone River (Switzerland-France) was determined with three acute bioassays. Large volume water samples were centrifuged for recovery of suspended solids in November 1989; one sample was taken as a control upstream from Lake Geneva and the 9 remainder downstream from Geneva to the Mediterranean Sea, with a single sample of the major tributary the Saone at Lyon. Heavy metals (Hg, Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn) and organic contaminants (OCs, PCBs, PAHs) bound to sediment were analysed and extracted by elutriation with filtered lake water and by organic solvent ( dichloromethane ). Sediment water elutriates were tested with algal fractionation bioassays (AFB) using Lake Geneva ambient phytoplankton, with Daphnia magna and Microtox® acute toxicity tests, whereas organic extracts were utilized in the latter two bioassays to evaluate the potential sediment toxicity. The bulk analyses of the sediment together with elutriate metal concentrations indicated the highest contamination of sediment downstream of Lyon. Medium contamination appeared for the stations downstream of Geneva, in the Saone River and at the Rhone River mouth. The station upstream of Lyon had low concentrations, comparable to the values in the Upper Rhone. Organic contaminants are mainly observed downstream of Lyon and their concentrations decline onwards to the sea. The bioassays Microtox ® on organic extracts and AFB on the elutriates show a similar toxicity trend, but differ in that Microtox was more sensitive to organics whereas the algal test responded predominantly to metals. This difference is believed to be due to the different extraction procedures used, rather than to the tests themselves. Daphnia magna was the least sensitive and appeared to give a broader band response to the observed contaminants in the sediment. The bioassay results when integrated confirm that the biotoxicity trends relate well to the composition of the sediment, a factor which emphasizes the need for battery testing in ecotoxicological assessment.
Keywords Rhone RiverSedimentEcotoxicologyExtraction procedure
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SANTIAGO, Sergio et al. Comparative ecotoxicity of suspended sediment in the lower Rhone River using algal fractionation, Microtox® and Daphnia magna bioassays. In: Hydrobiologia, 1993, vol. 252. doi: 10.1007/bf00005472 https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:36032

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