Biological responses of midge (Chironomus riparius) and lamprey (Lampetra fluviatilis) larvae in ecotoxicity assessment of PCDD/F-, PCB- and Hg-contaminated river sediments.Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2016 Sep; 23(18):18379-93.ES
We evaluated the utility of chironomid and lamprey larval responses in ecotoxicity assessment of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, dibenzofurans (PCDD/F)-, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB)- and mercury (Hg)-contaminated river sediments. Sediment samples were collected from the River Kymijoki with a known industrial pollution gradient. Sediment for the controls and lamprey larvae were obtained from an uncontaminated river nearby. Contamination levels were verified with sediment and tissue PCDD/F, PCB and Hg analyses. Behaviour of sediment-exposed chironomid and lamprey larvae were measured with Multispecies Freshwater Biomonitor© utilizing quadrupole impedance conversion technique. In addition, mortality, growth and head capsule deformity incidence of chironomids were used as ecotoxicity indicators. WHOPCDD/F+PCB-TEQ in the R. Kymijoki sediments ranged from the highest upstream 22.36 ng g(-1) dw to the lowest 1.50 ng g(-1) near the river mouth. The sum of PCDD/Fs and PCBs correlated strongly with Hg sediment concentrations, which ranged from <0.01 to 1.15 μg g(-1). Lamprey tissue concentrations of PCDD/Fs were two orders and PCBs one order of magnitude higher in the R. Kymijoki compared to the reference. Chironomid growth decreased in contaminated sediments and was negatively related to sediment ∑PCDD/Fs, WHOPCDD/F+PCB-TEQ and Hg. There were no significant differences in larval mortality or chironomid mentum deformity incidence between the sediment exposures. The distinct behavioural patterns of both species indicate overall applicability of behavioural MFB measurements of these species in sediment toxicity bioassays. Chironomids spent less and lampreys more time in locomotion in the most contaminated sediment compared to the reference, albeit statistically significant differences were not detected. Lamprey larvae had also a greater activity range in some of the contaminated sediments than in the reference. High pollutant levels in lamprey indicate risks for biomagnification in the food webs, with potential health risks to humans consuming fish.