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Influence of Varying Water Quality Parameters on the Acute Toxicity of Silver to the Freshwater Cladoceran, Ceriodaphnia dubia


The acute toxicity of silver to Ceriodaphnia dubia was investigated in laboratory reconstituted waters as well as in natural waters and reconstituted waters with natural organic matter. The water quality characteristics of the laboratory reconstituted waters were systematically varied. The parameters that demonstrated an ability to mitigate the acute toxic effects of silver were chloride, sodium, organic carbon, and chromium reducible sulfide. Factors that did not have a consistent effect on the acute toxicity of silver to C. dubia, at least over the range of conditions tested, included hardness, alkalinity, and pH. The biotic ligand model was calibrated to the observed test results and found to be of use in quantifying the effect of changing water quality characteristics on silver bioavailability and toxicity. The model generally predicted silver toxicity within a factor of two and should be useful in modifying water quality criteria.

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This research was funded through a contract awarded to Hydroqual Inc. (now HDR inc.) by Water Environmental Research Foundation (WERF). We appreciate the assistance of G. McNerney, R. Hockett, and A. Rehner in conducting the toxicity tests and constructive comments on the manuscript from J. Gorsuch and the anonymous reviewer. We would also like to acknowledge our co-author and colleague Dr. Russell Bell who passed away in October 2017. His dedication, inspiration, and genuine nature will be greatly missed.

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Correspondence to Rami B. Naddy.

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Naddy, R.B., Stubblefield, W.A., Bell, R.A. et al. Influence of Varying Water Quality Parameters on the Acute Toxicity of Silver to the Freshwater Cladoceran, Ceriodaphnia dubia . Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 100, 69–75 (2018).

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  • Ceriodaphnia dubia
  • Silver
  • Acute toxicity
  • Water quality variables
  • BLM