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Open Access item Predicting single and mixture toxicity of petrogeneic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) to the copepod Oithona davisae. Implications for environmental risk assessment of oil spills in the marine plankton food web

Authors:Barata Martí, Carlos
Calbet, Albert
Saiz, Enric
Ortiz Vera, Laura
Bayona Termens, Josep María
Issue Date:2005
Abstract:In the present study the acute toxicity of ten polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) associated with the Prestige’s fuel oil spill (Spain, 2002), either single or in mixtures, were evaluated in adults of the copepod Oithona davisae. All but dimethylphenanthrene had negative effects on O davisae survival at concentrations below their water solubility, with naphthalene (48 h LC50 = 56.1 M) and pyrene (48 h LC50 = 0.8 M) being the least and most toxic compounds, respectively. PAH had narcotic effects on copepods, evidenced as lack of motility occurring at lower concentrations than those causing death. Naphthalene showed the greatest narcotic effects and phenanthrene the minor effects. Acute toxicity of the tested PAHs was inversely related (r2 = 0.9) with their octanol-water partition coefficient, thereby confirming the validity of the baseline quantitative structure-activity regression (QSAR) models for predicting toxicity of PAH compounds in copepod species. When supplied in mixtures, the toxic effect of PAH was additive. These results indicate that the many PAHs present in an oil spill can be considered unambiguous baseline toxicants (class I) acting additively as non-polar narcotics in copepods and, hence, their individual and combined toxicity can be predicted using their octanol-water partition coefficient.
Description:2 pages, 1 figure.-- Presented at VERTIMAR 2005. Symposium on Marine Accidental Oil Spills, july 13-16, 2005, Vigo (Pontevedra), Spain.
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