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    ASTM E1850 - 04(2019)

    Standard Guide for Selection of Resident Species as Test Organisms for Aquatic and Sediment Toxicity Tests

    Active Standard ASTM E1850 | Developed by Subcommittee: E50.47

    Book of Standards Volume: 11.06

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    Significance and Use

    5.1 The USEPA's policy for whole-effluent monitoring stresses, an integrated approach to toxicity testing (1, 5) tests and other measures of toxicity, should be systematically employed and should be related to certain aquatic-system factors, such as the type of habitats available (benthic and water column), flow regime, and physicochemical quality of the site water and sediment. The determination of toxicity is generally accomplished with a few surrogate species for four major reasons: a regulatory agency can compare test results between sites and over time in order to help prioritize enforcement efforts, tests using these species are relatively inexpensive since the organisms can be cultured year-round under laboratory conditions, the reliability of test methods utilizing surrogate species is better established than for other species, and surrogate species are better integrated into toxicity identification evaluations than other species. For regulatory purposes, under the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), USEPA considers it unnecessary to conduct whole effluent toxicity tests with resident or indigenous species (6). An alternate testing procedure protocol is provided by USEPA for validating toxicity methods using species not already approved (6,7). In systems where surrogate species are not found, erroneous predictions might be obtained of environmental impact or water and sediment quality impairment based on toxicity tests using surrogate species (8).

    5.2 This guide is intended to assist researchers and managers in selecting appropriate resident species for site-specific toxicity assessments. This guide could be used to select a resident species for use in predicting the potential toxic effects of a substance in certain types of aquatic environments. Another use might be for selecting a number of indigenous species from the aquatic community, that when tested, might indicate potential toxic effects of the test substance or material on the ecological integrity of that community. Selection of a suitable test species is very important because species might respond quite differently to toxic compounds (9). Species suggested as test organisms by regulatory agencies might not occur in the receiving waters of interest and their sensitivity to a toxic substance might not be representative of the sensitivity exhibited by resident species. Since aquatic ecosystem structure and function is often determined by a few key species (10, 11, 12, 13), toxicological tests with these resident species might be very important.

    5.3 This guide can be used in the selection of representative test species for certain site-specific assessments, such as the Resident-Species Criteria Modification Procedure (1), the Recalculation Procedure (14), and ecological risk assessment studies.

    5.4 This guide can be used as a general framework for researchers who desire to develop or modify existing toxicity test methods for previously untested species.

    5.5 Researchers in countries other than the United States and Canada might obtain useful information from this guide regarding potential test species or test methods for sites of local interest.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This guide along with Guide E1192 and guidance from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1,2)2 covers the use of resident species in toxicity testing, particularly if site-specific information is desired. For example, in those systems where particular species are considered to be economically or aesthetically important, it might be more appropriate to utilize resident species for testing (3). For this reason, the USEPA allows development of site-specific chemical standards, using resident species, in order to reflect local conditions (1). This guide is designed to guide the selection of resident species for use as test organisms in aquatic and sediment toxicity tests. It presupposes that the user is familiar with the taxonomy of aquatic and benthic species and has some field experience.

    1.2 Because toxicological information is often limited for many aquatic species, it is assumed that the majority of testing applications will be acute tests. Therefore, much of the guidance presented in this guide pertaining to the species selection process is applicable when acute toxicity testing is the desired goal. However, the principles discussed in this guide pertain to chronic toxicity test applications as well, although it should be clearly understood that such testing requires substantially greater effort, time, and resources than acute testing.

    1.3 The procedures for selecting resident species in toxicity testing are necessarily general at this time because information is often lacking for specific taxa or groups of taxa. This guide attempts to give specific information when appropriate.

    1.4 This guide is not intended to be inclusive. References listed provide a starting point from which to approach the literature. This guide deals solely with aquatic toxicity test situations. Terrestrial, arboreal, or atmospheric species are not considered in this guide.

    1.5 This guide is arranged as follows:







    Referenced Documents




    Summary of Guide


    Significance and Use


    Species Selection Process


    Collection of Information


    Obtaining Resident Species for Toxicity Testing


    Criteria for Selection


    Test Performance Characterization




    Safety Precautions








    Potential Test Species

    Appendix X1  



    Aquatic Floating Macrophytes






    Attached and Benthic Fauna






    Examples of Resident Species

    Table X1.1

    Taxonomic Keys—Partial Listing

    Appendix X2  

    Flow Chart of Factors to Consider For Selecting A
     Resident Species

    Appendix X3  

    1.6 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. All safety precautions and health-related practices are the responsibility of the user. Specific safety practices are suggested in Section 8.

    1.7 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D4229 Practice for Conducting Static Acute Toxicity Tests on Waste-Waters with Daphnia

    D4401 Practice for Collecting Benthic Macroinvertebrates With Petersen Grab Sampler

    D4407 Practice for Collecting Benthic Macroinvertebrates With Orange Peel Grab Sampler

    D4556 Guide for Selecting Stream-Net Sampling Devices for Collecting Benthic Macroinvertebrates

    D4557 Practice for Collecting Benthic Macroinvertebrates with Surber and Related Type Samplers

    D4558 Practice for Collecting Benthic Macroinvertebrates With Drift Nets

    E724 Guide for Conducting Static Acute Toxicity Tests Starting with Embryos of Four Species of Saltwater Bivalve Molluscs

    E729 Guide for Conducting Acute Toxicity Tests on Test Materials with Fishes, Macroinvertebrates, and Amphibians

    E1191 Guide for Conducting Life-Cycle Toxicity Tests with Saltwater Mysids

    E1192 Guide for Conducting Acute Toxicity Tests on Aqueous Ambient Samples and Effluents with Fishes, Macroinvertebrates, and Amphibians

    E1193 Guide for Conducting Daphnia magna Life-Cycle Toxicity Tests

    E1210 Practice for Fluorescent Liquid Penetrant Testing Using the Hydrophilic Post-Emulsification Process

    E1218 Guide for Conducting Static Toxicity Tests with Microalgae

    E1241 Guide for Conducting Early Life-Stage Toxicity Tests with Fishes

    E1367 Test Method for Measuring the Toxicity of Sediment-Associated Contaminants with Estuarine and Marine Invertebrates

    E1383 Guide for Conducting Sediment Toxicity Tests with Freshwater Invertebrates

    E1415 Guide for Conducting Static Toxicity Tests With Lemna gibba G3

    E1440 Guide for Acute Toxicity Test with the Rotifer Brachionus

    E1463 Guide for Conducting Static and Flow-Through Acute Toxicity Tests With Mysids From the West Coast of the United States

    E1498 Guide for Conducting Sexual Reproduction Tests with Seaweeds

    E1525 Guide for Designing Biological Tests with Sediments

    E1562 Guide for Conducting Acute, Chronic, and Life-Cycle Aquatic Toxicity Tests with Polychaetous Annelids

    E1563 Guide for Conducting Static Acute Toxicity Tests with Echinoid Embryos

    E1611 Guide for Conducting Sediment Toxicity Tests with Polychaetous Annelids

    E1688 Guide for Determination of the Bioaccumulation of Sediment-Associated Contaminants by Benthic Invertebrates

    E1706 Test Method for Measuring the Toxicity of Sediment-Associated Contaminants with Freshwater Invertebrates

    E1913 Guide for Conducting Static, Axenic, 14-Day Phytotoxicity Tests in Test Tubes with the Submersed Aquatic Macrophyte, Myriophyllum sibiricum Komarov

    E1924 Guide for Conducting Toxicity Tests with Bioluminescent Dinoflagellates

    E2122 Guide for Conducting In-situ Field Bioassays With Caged Bivalves

    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 13.060.45 (Examination of water in general)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 77101501(Risk or hazard assessment)

    Referencing This Standard
    Link Here
    Link to Active (This link will always route to the current Active version of the standard.)

    DOI: 10.1520/E1850-04R19

    Citation Format

    ASTM E1850-04(2019), Standard Guide for Selection of Resident Species as Test Organisms for Aquatic and Sediment Toxicity Tests, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2019, www.astm.org

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