The use of epibenthic copepod Tisbe biminiensis nauplii to assess the toxicity of seawater samples in Suape Bay (state of Pernambuco; Brazil)

Lilia Pereira Souza-Santos, Deloar Duda Oliveira, Edmilson Santos Lima


Bioassays to determine the toxicity of water have been used worldwide as a tool of environmental monitoring. In the present study, the epibenthic copepod Tisbe biminiensis nauplius is proposed as a test organism for samples of seawater. Survival and the percentage of development from nauplius to copepodite were compared to the embryo-larval development of the sea urchin L. variegatus exposed to the same samples from the Suape estuarine system (state of Pernambuco, Brazil) collected in 2009. T. biminiensis naupliar development displayed a similar sensitivity to that found with the sea urchin embryos, mainly when simple t-test (not bioequivalent corrected) was used for sea urchin data. However, a lower sensitivity of copepod survival was found. The aluminium, iron and lead concentrations in surface waters were sometimes higher than Brazilian guidelines for estuarine water, probably due to dredging activities and anthropogenic contamination. These metals could be at least partially responsible for the toxic effects found at different stations and months. The results indicated that naupliar development of this epibenthic copepod is appropriate for the assessment of toxicity levels in seawater samples.

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