Netherland Journal of Aquatic Ecology

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 151–156 | Cite as

Using XAD resins to study the effects of reduced organic micropollutant concentrations in River Rhine and Meuse water on phytoplankton growth

  • Gerda M. Van Dijk
  • Bob Van Zanten
  • Frederick G. Wortelboer
Ecology of the River Meuse


Laboratory incubation experiments were used to study the effect of reduced concentrations of organic micropollutants in water from the rivers Rhine and Meuse on the specific growth rate of the river phytoplankton community. Before incubation, part of the water sampled was treated with XAD-4 and XAD-8 resins to absorb dissolved organic compounds. Four dilutions were made by mixing untreated water with XAD-treated water in the ratios 100:0 (control), 70:30, 40:60 and 0:100. The phytoplankton specific growth rate increased significantly with the increased fraction treated with XAD in all but one incubation experiment. In these experiments, the specific growth rate was on average 9% higher in the fraction in which 100% was treated with XAD than in the controls. In the Rhine and Meuse river water, phytoplankton growth seemed to be inhibited by organic compounds. This inhibition was ascribed to the presence of dissolved organic micropollutants. Removing organic micropollutants using XAD resins to study the toxic effects of these compounds on field phytoplankton communities can be concluded to be a promising tool for risk assessment of micropollutants but needs to be supported by additional methodological research.


phytoplankton specific growth rate XAD-4 XAD-8 risk assessment 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerda M. Van Dijk
    • 1
  • Bob Van Zanten
    • 1
  • Frederick G. Wortelboer
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Water and Drinking Water ResearchNational Institute of Public Health and Environmental Protection (RIVM)BilthovenThe Netherlands

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