STP802

    Effect of Chromium on Larval Chironomidae as Determined by the Optical-Fiber Light-Interruption Biomonitoring System

    Published: Jan 1983


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    Abstract

    An optical-fiber light-interruption biomonitoring system for examining the activity of aquatic invertebrates has been developed to test potential toxicity of chromium and other compounds on tubicolous larval Diptera (Chironomidae). Chromium has been identified as a heavy metal of environmental concern, but little is known of its effect on aquatic biota at chronic or sublethal levels. When movement patterns of midge larvae, Chironomus tentans, are monitored by the system, three distinct phases are revealed: respiratory undulations, crawling-type movements, and rest or immobility. It has been shown in other studies that the rates and duration of movements are controlled by dissolved oxygen (DO) levels and temperature. Chromium alters the duration but not the rates of the three movement phases. At 0.01 ppm chromium, larval movement patterns were not altered. At 0.1 and 1.0 ppm, the duration of the respiratory phase was suppressed. Levels from 10.0 to 1000.0 ppm progressively increased the duration of this phase. The 48-h EC50 for fourth instar larvae was calculated to be 61.0 ppm chromium, which shows that the change in respiratory movements does indicate potential lethality of the solutions. Thus, the biomonitoring system's sensitivity is apparent in detecting low-level effects of a heavy metal on this aquatic invertebrate.

    Keywords:

    water quality, water pollution, biomonitoring, chromium behavior, Chironomidae, Chironomus tentans, aquatic toxicology, hazard assessment


    Author Information:

    Batac-Catalan, Z
    Research assistant and assistant professor, Great Lakes Research Division and School of Natural Resources, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

    White, DS
    Research assistant and assistant professor, Great Lakes Research Division and School of Natural Resources, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI


    Paper ID: STP33524S

    Committee/Subcommittee: E47.01

    DOI: 10.1520/STP33524S


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