STP707

    An In Situ Experimental Method for Toxicological Studies on Natural Plankton Communities

    Published: Jan 1980


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    Abstract

    During 1976 and 1977, the authors developed and tested a new in situ method for toxicological studies on natural plankton communities using small-volume (8- and 25-litre) enclosures. The effects of enclosure for 4 to 21 days on the plankton in northern Green Bay, Lake Michigan, were studied in connection with cadmium addition experiments. In situ incubations in opaque enclosures or in translucent ones at depths of >8 m caused large changes in the zooplankton community structure, as measured by two similarity indexes, the coefficient of community (CC) and the percentage similarity (PS), whereas incubations in translucent enclosures at 3 to 8 m caused relatively small changes. The effect of cadmium additions (0 to 5 µg cadmium per litre) on total zooplankton abundance in translucent enclosures at 3 to 5 m was significantly greater than in those at 6 to 8 m. This interaction between cadmium and light (depth) was probably due to a reduction of phytoplankton photosynthesis, as indicated by changes in dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations. Zooplankton abundance was not significantly affected by <1.6 µg cadmium per litre, whereas DO and PS were significantly reduced by ≥0.2 µg cadmium per litre. Values of PS for zooplankton communities in large-volume (1.5 × 105 litre) enclosures in a small Canadian lake in northwestern Ontario 3 weeks after the addition of cadmium were within the 95 percent confidence limits predicted from the results of 3-week experiments in Lake Michigan.

    Keywords:

    aquatic toxicology, toxicological methodology, plankton communities, zooplankton, phytoplankton, cadmium stress, Lake Michigan


    Author Information:

    Marshall, JS
    Ecologist and assistant ecologist, Ecological Sciences Section, Radiological and Environmental Research Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Ill.

    Mellinger, DL
    Ecologist and assistant ecologist, Ecological Sciences Section, Radiological and Environmental Research Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Ill.


    Paper ID: STP27407S

    Committee/Subcommittee: E35.14

    DOI: 10.1520/STP27407S


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