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Effects of natural sediment properties on test results in bioassays with oyster larvae (Crassostrea gigas) on sediment elutriates

Abstract

Toxicity tests with oyster larvae are becoming increasingly important as sensitive bioassays for assessing water and sediment quality. In 1983 a procedure was presented specifically for the testing of seawater elutriates of sediment samples. Testing sediment elutriates with oyster larvae in a sediment-water system invokes specific problems related to natural sediment characteristics. Experiments were set up to study the effects of these sediment properties on the bioassay results. The effects of sediment grain size, suspended solids, elutriation period, as well as the possible effects of naturally occurring toxic nutrients, like ammonia, were studied. Also the effect of presence or absence of the elutriated sediment and the distribution of larvae in the test vessels were studied.

It is concluded that natural sediment properties can have substantial effects on the test results in elutriate tests with sediment present in the test vessel. Recommendations are formulated to minimize these effects or to use other test fractions for predicting bulk sediment toxicity.

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van den Hurk, P. Effects of natural sediment properties on test results in bioassays with oyster larvae (Crassostrea gigas) on sediment elutriates. J Aquat Ecosyst Stress Recov 3, 185–191 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00043240

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00043240

Key words

  • oyster larvae bioassay
  • sediment toxicity test
  • elutriate
  • methods