Appraisal of Copepod Acartia tonsa (Dana, 1849) as a Chronic Toxicity Test Organism

P. M. Ihara, G. L. L. Pinho, G. Fillmann


Ecotoxicological tests have been used as an important tool in assessing the environmental quality. In order to improve the use of marine and estuarine native organisms in chronic toxicity tests, this study evaluated the potential of the copepod Acartia tonsa in reproduction test. The sensitivity of A. tonsa was determined by exposing adults to 0.5, 0.75, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0 and 2.5 mg.L-1 of zinc sulphate (ZnSO4.7H2O). The production of eggs per female was measured after 48 hours of exposure, resulting in the EC50 of 2.05 mg.L-1 of zinc sulphate (CI 95% = 1.77 - 2.20 mg.L-1). Acute toxicity test was also performed, exposing adults to 2.5, 5.0, 7.5, 10, 12.5 and 15 mg.L-1 ZnSO4.7H2O. Compared to acute effects, the chronic test was 1.9 lower than the lethal concentration (LC50 of 3.80 mg.L-1). The sensitivity response of A. tonsa exposed to zinc presented an EC50 3 to 4 times higher than the others test organism described in the literature, so further studies are needed to improve sensitivity by developing and applying other sublethal endpoints.

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