Validation and update of a model used to predict copper toxicity to the marine bivalve Mytilus sp.Environ Toxicol. 2006 Feb; 21(1):65-70.ET
A model was recently published that relates the toxicity of copper to the most sensitive taxa in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's criteria database (Mytilus sp.) with dissolved organic carbon concentrations in saltwater. This model was developed for potential use in risk assessment and in the development of site-specific criteria (SSC) for copper in saltwater environments where Mytilus sp. is considered an appropriate indicator species. This manuscript presents the results of a field validation study of that model. Effective concentration 50% (EC(50)) values (n = 21) for seven sites were all predicted by the model within the previously established range of acceptability. Slopes and intercepts of the two data sets were not significantly different. Consequently, the data were pooled, and new equations were developed. Dissolved copper EC(50) values were highly correlated (r(2) = 0.76, n = 75, P < 0.0001) across a wide range of sample dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations (0.3-12 mg C/L) and were explained by the equation EC(50) = 11.22 DOC(0.60). Two updated equations are proposed for consideration as a means of estimating site-specific final chronic criteria (FCC) and final acute criteria (FAC) for copper in marine and estuarine environments (copper FCC(DOC) = 3.59 DOC(0.60); copper FAC(DOC) = 5.61 DOC(0.60)).