SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 2000

The Influence of Four Types of Water on Seedling Emergence and Growth of Barley and the Toxic Interaction with Copper Sulfate


One aspect of the development and validation of terrestrial plant toxicity test methods is to determine the influence of the type of water that is used to irrigate test plants on emergence and seedling growth, and on the toxicity of contaminants in soil. Acute screening and definitive plant seedling emergence and growth tests were conducted with barley in artificial soil. Seedlings were irrigated with tap, well, or deionized water, or a nutrient solution. The influence of water type was similar for both the acute screening and definitive plant tests. No effect of water type on seedling emergence was observed. Shoot growth was greater in barley watered with nutrient solution, but no difference was observed among other water types. Root length was not affected. Root mass was greater when plants were watered with the nutrient solution, but only if compared to plants watered with deionized water. Definitive plant toxicity tests that assessed the toxicity of copper sulfate to barley were conducted. Plants were irrigated with a nutrient solution or tap water. The toxicity of copper sulfate to seedling emergence was affected by water type. Copper sulfate was more toxic to barley when seedlings were watered with the nutrient solution. These results indicate that the type of water used to irrigate terrestrial test plants can influence contaminant toxicity and must be considered when generating or interpreting data.

Author Information

Stephenson, GL
University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Feisthauer, NC
ESG International, Inc., Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Koper, N
Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
McCann, JH
National Guidelines and Standards Office, Environment Canada, Ottawa, Canada
Scroggins, RP
Method Development and Applications Section, Environment Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Price: $25.00
Contact Sales
Reprints and Permissions
Reprints and copyright permissions can be requested through the
Copyright Clearance Center
Developed by Committee: E47
Pages: 134–145
DOI: 10.1520/STP10251S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5448-3
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2886-6