Predicting copper toxicity in estuarine and marine waters using the Biotic Ligand Model.Mar Pollut Bull. 2005 Dec; 50(12):1634-40.MP
The Biotic Ligand Model (BLM) has proven efficient in predicting the toxicity of a variety of metals to freshwater organisms. Consequently, the US EPA has proposed its use for calculating freshwater copper criteria. This study evaluates the BLM for use in estuarine and marine waters. Studies were conducted using the bivalve, Mytilus sp. and 48-h embryo-larval development chronic estimator test methods. These are the most sensitive taxa and test in the US EPA saltwater copper criteria database. Samples from five locations around the USA were tested. There is a strong relationship between measured and BLM predicted copper EC50s (log transformed data, r(2)=0.76, p<0.001, n=44). The BLM predicted within a factor +/-2 of measured EC50s in 41 of 44 cases. However, the BLM tends to predict lower EC50s when measured EC50s are approximately < or =10 microg Cu/L. This may be due to limitations of the metal-dissolved organic matter interaction model.