, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 68–76 | Cite as

Road-salt toxicity of select Michigan wetland macroinvertebrates under different testing conditions

  • M. Eric Benbow
  • Richard W. Merritt


This study determined lethal dose levels of road salt on selected macroinvertebrates from a Michigan, USA wetland under different testing conditions and related those levels to in situ chloride concentrations of standing water habitats along multi-lane highways. We conducted simultaneous acute (24 and 96 h) and chronic (15 d) toxicity experiments using laboratory containers, containers adjacent to a wetland, and in situ modular field PVC microcosms. Data showed that Callibaetis fluctuans, Physella integra, Hyallela azteca, and Chaoborus americamus had relatively high tolerance to elevated road-salt levels. Depending on test condition, road-salt 96 h LC50 estimates ranged from greater than 5000 mg 1−1 (2558 mg 1−1 Cl) to >10,000 mg 1−1 (4502 mg 1−1 Cl) road salt for C. fluctuans and P. integra, respectively. For H. azteca and C. americanus, mortality was generally low at all salt concentrations, with road-salt 96 h LC50 estimates >10,000 mg 1−1, Chloride concentrations of 43 impacted Michigan wetlands ranged from to 2700 mg 1−1 Cl−1, with 75% <334 mg 1−1, indicating that macroinvertebrate LC50 chloride estimates for the study species are well above most concentrations of the 43 wetlands.

Key Words

road salt NaCl chloride macroinvertebrates microcosms LC50 toxicity survival 


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Copyright information

© Society of Wetland Scientists 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Eric Benbow
    • 1
  • Richard W. Merritt
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EntomologyMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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