Work Item
ASTM WK60640

New Guide for Standard Guide(Method) for Conducting Acute Water Column Toxicity Bioassays using Marine Calanoid Copepods

1. Scope

This guide/standard provides a methodology to conduct consistent and reliable acute, marine toxicity tests with calanoid copepod species that are holozooplankton (truly planktonic throughout their entire life cycle). Calanoid copepods tend to be on the more sensitive end of species sensitivity distributions and are typically more sensitive to persistent contaminants of concern relative to harpacticoid copepods. The acute 48 h testing protocol described herein was developed specifically for the calanoid copepod species Pseudodiaptomus pelagicus, and the European species Acartia tonsa, although it may be applied to other calanoid copepod genera. The methods include standard conduct of acute, 48 hour toxicity tests for water column exposures, sediment porewater exposures and eluted sediment (elutriate) exposures. The annex provides background of the life history of the calanoid copepods and culture methods useful for supplying sufficient numbers and age ranges for toxicity bioassay


Toxicity; bioassay; marine; zooplankton; copepod; culture; sediment porewater; elutriate


There is need for a short term acute toxicity test for marine zooplankton due to current capability gaps. While holozooplankton methods are readily available for freshwater, there is a substantial capability gap for marine environments; as one example, the Army Corps / US EPA dredging evaluation program may use this method to satisfy the Marine Protection Research and Sanctuaries Act requirement to test marine zooplankton in dredging evaluations. The common tests conducted are for sedentary or benthic bivalves or echinoderms that are not zooplankton (E1563-98e1, E724-98); they have a short-lived planktonic stage. The need here is for an acute marine toxicity test for a species that is planktonic for its entire life cycle and lives in the coastal waters of the United States (i.e., Pseudodiaptomus). Initial methodologies are briefed in a government technical report (Kennedy et al 2016;

The title and scope are in draft form and are under development within this ASTM Committee.


Developed by Subcommittee: E50.47

Committee: E50

Staff Manager: Molly Lynyak

Work Item Status

Date Initiated: 09-28-2017

Technical Contact: Cameron Irvine

Item: 000