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Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2006 Feb;63(2):189-95.

Cross-phylum comparison of a chronic biotic ligand model to predict chronic toxicity of copper to a freshwater rotifer, Brachionus calyciflorus (Pallas).

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Laboratory of Environmental Toxicology and Aquatic Ecology, Ghent University, Jozef Plateaustraat 22, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium.


Short chronic 48-h toxicity tests with the freshwater rotifer Brachionus calyciflorus (Pallas) were conducted to assess the modifying effects of pH and natural dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentration on reproductive toxicity of Cu. Toxicity tests were carried out in four test waters according to a 2 x 2 design, in which pH (6 and 7.8) and DOC (5 and 15 mg C/L) were the test variables. Concentrations of dissolved Cu with no observed effect at 48 h (NOEC) varied 12-fold between 8.2 and 103 microg/L. Higher DOC and higher pH resulted in a reduction of toxicity, which is in line with the concepts of the biotic ligand model (BLM). A chronic Cu-BLM, originally developed for the cladoceran Daphnia magna, was calibrated to the rotifer dataset and was found to be able to predict all rotifer NOECs with an error factor of less than 1.6. This finding may be of great interest for risk assessment and the establishment of water quality criteria, as it suggests that chronic Cu-BLMs are comparable across phyla (i.e., arthropoda to rotifera).

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