SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1993

Invertebrate Behavior as an Indicator of Contaminated Water and Sediments


We present a review of behavioral toxicology using invertebrates for testing the toxicity of chemicals in water and sediment and suggest criteria and methods for species selection, acclimation time, and test conditions. It is important to consider circadian and other biological rhythms in the invertebrate test species to reduce background noise and to select the best time and conditions to administer a toxicant. We stress selection of endpoints that reflect behavioral alteration related to survival of natural populations and communities. A brief discussion on movement functions and their definitions is provided. Examples of invertebrate sensitivity and the use of avoidance/preference, undirected and directed behavioral responses, and sediment testing are reviewed from the literature and from new behavior information presented in this paper.

Author Information

Smith, EH
Harding Lawson Associates, Novato, CA
Logan, DT
Coastal Environmental Services Inc., Linthicum, MD
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Developed by Committee: E47
Pages: 48–61
DOI: 10.1520/STP13144S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5257-1
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1485-2