Detecting copper toxicity in sediments: from the subindividual level to the population level

Jeppe, K, Yang, J, Long, S, Carew, M, Zhang, X, Pettigrove, V and Hoffmann, A 2017, 'Detecting copper toxicity in sediments: from the subindividual level to the population level', Journal of Applied Ecology, vol. 54, no. 5, pp. 1331-1342.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Detecting copper toxicity in sediments: from the subindividual level to the population level
Author(s) Jeppe, K
Yang, J
Long, S
Carew, M
Zhang, X
Pettigrove, V
Hoffmann, A
Year 2017
Journal name Journal of Applied Ecology
Volume number 54
Issue number 5
Start page 1331
End page 1342
Total pages 12
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Abstract Sediments accumulate chemicals that can be toxic to biota and often contribute to aquatic ecosystem decline. Measuring mortality in laboratory-bred organisms is a common way to assess sediment toxicity. However, mortality-based responses of resilient laboratory organisms may not reflect indigenous macroinvertebrate responses, which can be relatively more sensitive to sediment toxicants. A possible solution is to also measure responses at the subindividual level. Several organism responses to sediment copper toxicity were assessed in a field-based microcosm. Responses of laboratory-bred chironomids and snails deployed in microcosms were compared at subindividual (metabolomic and gene expression), individual (survival and dry weight) and population (reproduction) levels, and contrasted to the abundance of colonizing macroinvertebrates in the microcosms. Colonizing macroinvertebrate abundance showed a range of sensitivities based on EC50 (effect dose 50% change). Chironomidae made up 94·5% of the microcosm macroinvertebrates, with Paratanytarsus the most sensitive genus (EC50: 89 mg kg-1copper) and Procladius the least sensitive (EC50: 681 mg kg-1). Survival of laboratory-bred organisms was the least sensitive response, comparable to decreased abundance of the least sensitive macroinvertebrate. Juvenile production in the snail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum, was the most sensitive population-level response (EC50: 121 mg kg-1), in contrast the snail Physella acuta was relatively more tolerant (EC50: 298 mg kg-1). Changes in subindividual responses (gene expression and metabolite abundance) in laboratory-bred chironomid, Chironomus tepperi, were evident at 60 mg kg-1. These changes likely reflect the direct effects of copper exposure and represent metal-specific responses. Synthesis and applications. We showed that copper toxicity in sediments could be readily detected through changes in gene exp
Subject Freshwater Ecology
Keyword(s) biomarkers
chironomids
copper toxicity
cysteine metabolism
gene expression
mesocosm
metabolomics
microcosm
sediment toxicity
transsulfuration
DOI - identifier 10.1111/1365-2664.12840
Copyright notice © 2016 The Authors. Journal of Applied Ecology © 2016 British Ecological Society
ISSN 0021-8901
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