, Volume 47, Issue 1, pp 135-171

The effects of temperature upon the toxicity of chemicals to aquatic organisms

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Abstract

Although rather extensive bibliographies give the impression that there is a vast amount of literature on the effects of temperature on aquatic organisms, when one tries to apply this information to specific interactions, such as the effects of temperature changes on chemical toxicity to aquatic organisms, often very little of the evidence is applicable. Although the most useful information on this relationship has been acquired in laboratory situations even this body of literature (which forms the bulk of this paper) is not adequate to make any scientifically justifiable generalizations. Field data on this relationship is almost non-existent and it is unlikely that much will become available unless specific studies are initiated which are directed toward this end. This is equally true of the laboratory information although it seems more likely that this will be generated as a spinoff from other research activities.

In order to develop water quality management programs for steam-electric power plants one should understand the relationship between temperature and the response of aquatic organisms to toxic chemicals. Not only do some power plants discharge chlorine and other similar materials as well as heated waste water but those that discharge the latter only may be located near discharges of toxic chemicals. Since temperature and chemical stress to aquatic organisms are most commonly discussed independently we felt a paper covering this relationship would be useful.