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The proper identification and laboratory analyses of relevant in situ parameters for determining the environmental effect and fate of toxicants in coastal wetlands are important components in validating laboratory microcosm procedures. Measurements of microbial density, phosphatase and dehydrogenase activity, adenosine triphosphate (ATP), fluorescin diacete hydrolysis, and the mineralization of toxicant parent molecules were evaluated both in the environment and under laboratory microcosm simulation for different pH/Eh, salinity, temperature, and sediment/water interface conditions. High correlations were established between control microcosms and field measurements. Fate and effect predictions were compared with field estimates for several toxicants.
microcosms, wetlands, toxicants, marine microbiology, aquatic ecosystems, contaminants, microcosm validation
Assistant professor, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA