Dissolved organic carbon reduces the toxicity of aluminum to three tropical freshwater organisms

Trenfield, Melanie A., Markich, Scott J., Ng, Jack C., Noller, Barry and van Damy, Rick A. (2012) Dissolved organic carbon reduces the toxicity of aluminum to three tropical freshwater organisms. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 31 2: 427-436. doi:10.1002/etc.1704

Author Trenfield, Melanie A.
Markich, Scott J.
Ng, Jack C.
Noller, Barry
van Damy, Rick A.
Title Dissolved organic carbon reduces the toxicity of aluminum to three tropical freshwater organisms
Journal name Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0730-7268
Publication date 2012-02
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/etc.1704
Volume 31
Issue 2
Start page 427
End page 436
Total pages 10
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ, United States
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The influence of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) on the toxicity of aluminum (Al) at pH 5 (relevant to acid mine drainage conditions), to the tropical green hydra (Hydra viridissima), green alga (Chlorella sp.), and cladoceran (Moinodaphnia macleayi) was assessed. Two DOC sources, a natural in situ DOC in soft billabong water (SBW) and Suwannee River fulvic acid (SRFA) standard, were compared. The order of sensitivity of the test organisms to dissolved Al (0.1μm fraction) was Hydra viridissima>Moinodaphnia macleayi>Chlorella sp. with DOC reducing dissolved Al toxicity most for Hydra viridissima. However, colloidal or precipitated Al may contribute indirectly to the toxicity for M. macleayi and Chlorella sp. The toxicity of dissolved Al was up to six times lower in test waters containing 10mgL -1 DOC (in the form of SRFA), relative to toxicity observed at 1mgL -1 DOC. In contrast, the toxicity of Al was up to two times lower in SBW containing 10mgL -1 DOC, relative to water containing 1mgL -1 DOC. The increased ability of SRFA in reducing Al toxicity was linked to its greater affinity for complexing Al compared with the in situ DOC. This has important implications for studies that use commercial standards of humic substances to predict Al toxicity in local environments. Speciation modeling demonstrated that Al 3+ and AlOH 2+ provided a strong relationship with toxicity. An empirical relationship is provided for each organism that can be used to predict Al toxicity at a given Al and DOC concentration.
Keyword Fulvic acid
Dissolved organic carbon
References Article first published online: 12 January 2012.
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