A sediment toxicity test using reproduction in the tubificid oligochaete Tubifex tubifex was tested in 11 geographic locations in the Laurentian Great Lakes where sediments have previously been documented as being contaminated. Samples were taken from both potentially contaminated and “clean” sites in each of the 11 areas. Using test endpoints such as survival and growth, results from 72 samples were classified using cluster and ordination techniques. Six response groups were identified and four groups of toxic sites determined. Toxic effects ranged from mortality of adult worms to reduced reproduction. Using correlation and discriminant analysis there was good evidence that high concentrations of metals such as copper and lead were responsible for the observed effects at some sites.
Oligochaeta sediments toxicity multivariate analysis Great Lakes