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In April 1967, Mount and Stephan published results of two life-cycle toxicity tests with the fathead minnow and introduced the terms maximum acceptable toxicant concentration (MATC) and laboratory fish production index. Although the methodology for life-cycle tests has been improved substantially, and such tests can now be conducted with a variety of fishes and invertebrates, major issues exist concerning the ways in which results of these tests can be calculated and presented. The purpose of this paper is to present the rationale to answer three questions. First, is it better to calculate results by considering data for a smorgasbord of individual biological measurements or for one or a few integrated effects that are commercially, recreationally, or ecologically important? Second, is it better to calculate results using hypothesis testing or regression analysis? Third, what terminology is appropriate for expressing results of life-cycle chronic tests? The usefulness of various other tests for predicting results of life-cycle tests cannot be adequately assessed until some of these issues are resolved.
aquatic toxicology, chronic toxicity, ecological effects, hypothesis testing, maximum acceptable toxicant concentration, no-observed-effect concentration, regression analysis, toxicity tests
Environmental scientist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Duluth, MN