, Volume 219, Issue 1-4, pp 81-90
Date: 11 Nov 2010

Toxic Effects of Fluoride Ion on Survival, Reproduction and Behaviour of the Aquatic Snail Potamopyrgus antipodarum (Hydrobiidae, Mollusca)

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Abstract

Inorganic fluoride concentrations in aquatic ecosystems have been significantly increased by several human activities during the last decades. However, there is still relatively scarce information about its toxicity to freshwater animals, especially at long-term exposures. The aim of our study is to assess the short-term (4 days) and long-term (28 days) fluoride (F) toxicity to the aquatic snail Potamopyrgus antipodarum on the basis of several endpoints, including survival, reproduction (number of newborn and embryos) and behaviour (time to start movement). One control and five actual fluoride concentrations were used in triplicate (49.2, 47.0, 122.5, 194.6 and 281.4 mg F/L) for the short-term (4 days) bioassay. LC50 value at 96 h was 58.5 mg F/L, which is a relatively high value in comparison with previous published data on freshwater invertebrates. One control and three actual fluoride concentrations were used in quadruplicate (4.6, 9.5 and 16.2 mg F/L) for the long-term (28 days) bioassay. None of the fluoride treatments increased mortality in comparison to control after 28 days of continuous exposure. Fluoride reduced the mean total and alive number of newborns per surviving adult after 28 days of exposure (at mean concentrations of 9.5 and 16.2 mg F/L) respect to control. The number of embryos with shell was reduced by the highest concentration (16.2 mg F/L). The behavioural activity (e.g. time to start normal movement) was affected by the highest fluoride concentration during the long-term bioassay. Our results show that fluoride is toxic at short- and long-term exposures, causing mortality (at short term) and affecting reproduction and behaviour (at long term). Additionally, field fluoride levels, corresponding to test fluoride concentrations (mean values ranged from 4.6 to 16.2 mg F/L) have been found in fluoride-polluted ecosystems, either by natural or anthropogenic causes. Therefore, fluoride pollution may potentially affect natural population of invertebrates.