Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 1576–1583 | Cite as

Toxic effect and physiological disruption of sodium phosphate to the quagga mussel (Dreissena bugensis)

  • Kannappan VijayavelEmail author
  • Donna R. Kashian
Research Article


Phosphorous is an essential nutrient for all forms of life; however, the question of toxicity to aquatic species remains largely unanswered, despite many systems that exceed natural phosphorus loads. This study determined the ecotoxicological threshold concentration of phosphorus to the freshwater bivalve Dreissena bugensis using a 96-h bioassay. Sublethal, medial lethal, and lethal levels of sodium phosphate to D. bugensis were found to be 125, 260, and 476 ppm. Physiological biomarkers such as the oxygen consumption and filtration rate were estimated by exposing D. bugensis to five different sublethal concentrations (25, 50, 75, 100, and 125 ppm) of sodium phosphate for 96 h. Both oxygen consumption and filtration rate gradually declined with increasing exposure concentrations and durations, which was significant (α < 0.05) for 75, 100, and 125 ppm of sodium phosphate concentrations. Based on the feeding rate and oxygen consumption endpoints, the no-observed effect concentration and the low observed effect concentration were 25 and 75 ppm, respectively. Maximum acceptable toxicant concentration of sodium phosphate was 43.3 ppm. Measured environmental concentration (MEC) of total phosphorus (0.015 ppm; n = 6) was obtained from seasonal field assessments in Saginaw Bay during the years 2008 to 2010. An assessment factor of 1000 was used for calculating the predicted no effect concentration (PNEC) of 0.025 ppm. Risk quotient (RQ) of “0.6” was therefore established using MEC/PNEC (real risk) ratio. Binary ecological classification (RQ < 1) suggested that there is no appreciable risk of phosphorus to D. bungensis in the Saginaw Bay of Lake Huron of Laurentian Great Lakes.


Acute toxicity Sublethal stress Quagga mussel Phosphorus Bio-indicator 



We thank Hunter Oates, Sander Robinson, and Brittanie Dabney for their valuable help during mussel collection and laboratory assays.

Funding information

This research was sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research and Wayne State University.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesWayne State UniversityDetroitUSA

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