Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 18, Issue 8, pp 1398–1404 | Cite as

Sediment contact test with Potamopyrgus antipodarum in effect-directed analyses—challenges and opportunities

  • Claudia SchmittEmail author
  • Christian Vogt
  • Miroslav Machala
  • Eric de Deckere
Research Article


Background and scope

Effect-directed analysis is increasingly used for the identification of key toxicants in environmental samples and there is a growing need for in vivo biotests as diagnostic tools. Within this study, we performed an in vivo sediment contact test, applicable on both native field samples and their extracts or fractions, in order to be able to compare the results from both field and laboratory studies.

Material and methods

A sediment contact test with the prosobranch snail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum, was carried out on extracts and fractions of field sediments from three European river basins. The results were compared with previous results of the native field samples.


In contrast to the native sediments, the extracts of the samples led to an overall decrease in reproduction. Even the chosen reference sites had an adverse effect on the snails' reproduction. It appeared that a higher bioavailability in the organic extracts, together with a changing composition of compounds could have lead to this change in effects. The fractionation of the extracts partly led to a more differentiated picture, but the resolution was not high enough to see any distinct effects on the snails' reproduction.

Discussion and conclusion

Our results highlight the importance of the use of in vivo biotests and point out the relevance of bioavailability in native sediments. For further fractionation studies, a more realistic extraction procedure, together with a higher resolution fractionation, would be appropriate in order to separate individual bioavailable compounds more efficient.


Sediments Field Extraction Fractionation Biotests Reprotoxicity 



This study was performed within the project MODELKEY (contract no. 511237-GOCE). We gratefully acknowledge the financial support granted by the European Commission.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claudia Schmitt
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Christian Vogt
    • 3
  • Miroslav Machala
    • 4
  • Eric de Deckere
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.Ecosystem Management Research GroupUniversity of AntwerpWilrijkBelgium
  2. 2.Ecophysiology, Biochemistry and ToxicologyUniversity of AntwerpAntwerpBelgium
  3. 3.Aquatic EcotoxicologyGoethe-University Frankfurt am MainFrankfurt am MainGermany
  4. 4.Veterinary Research InstituteBrnoCzech Republic
  5. 5.Institute of Environment and Sustainable DevelopmentUniversity of AntwerpWilrijkBelgium

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