Evaluation of Methods for Measuring Sediment Toxicity in California Bays and Estuaries


Sublethal test methods are being used with increasing frequency to measure sediment<lb>toxicity, but little is known about the relative sensitivity of these tests compared to the<lb>more commonly used acute tests. A study was conducted to compare the sensitivity of<lb>several acute and sublethal toxicity methods, and investigate their correlations with<lb>sediment chemistry and benthic community condition. Six sublethal methods (amphipod,<lb>Leptocheirus plumulosus 28-day survival, growth and reproduction; polychaete, Neanthes<lb>arenaceodentata 28-day survival and growth; benthic copepod, Amphiascus tenuiremis,<lb>14-day life cycle; seed clam, Mercenaria mercenaria 7-day growth; oyster, Crassostrea<lb>virginica lysosome destabilization; and sediment-water interface (SWI) testing with<lb>embryos of the mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis) and two acute methods (10-day<lb>amphipod survival with Eohaustorius estuarius and Leptocheirus plumulosus) were used<lb>to test split samples of sediment from stations in southern California and San Francisco<lb>Bay. The most sensitive sublethal test, and most sensitive overall, was the life cycle test<lb>with the copepod, Amphiascus. The L. plumulosus 10-day survival test was the most<lb>sensitive of the acute tests. The sublethal tests were not, in general, more sensitive to the<lb>sediments than the acute tests. Of the sublethal tests only the A. tenuiremus endpoints<lb>and polychaete growth correlated with sediment chemistry. There was poor<lb>correspondence between the toxicity endpoints and indicators of benthic community<lb>condition. Differences in test characteristics such as mode of exposure, species-specific<lb>contaminant sensitivity, changes in contaminant bioavailability, and the influence of<lb>noncontaminant stressors on the benthos may have been responsible for the variations in<lb>response among the tests and low correspondence with benthic community condition.<lb>The influence of these factors cannot be easily predicted and underscores the need to use<lb>multiple toxicity methods in combination with other lines of evidence to provide an<lb>accurate and confident assessment of sediment toxicity.

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@inproceedings{Yoon2007EvaluationOM, title={Evaluation of Methods for Measuring Sediment Toxicity in California Bays and Estuaries}, author={Kyonga Vada Yoon and Eric Stein and Steven M . Bay and Darrin J. Greenstein and Diana L. Young and Daniel Farrar and David Moore and Bryn M. Phillips and Michele Redmond and Rob Burgess and Tom Gries and Peter F. Landrum}, year={2007} }