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Making Acute Tests More Ecologically Relevant: Cadmium Bioaccumulation and Toxicity in an Estuarine Clam under Various Salinities Modeled in a Toxicokinetic–Toxicodynamic Framework

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journal contribution
posted on 15.02.2019, 00:00 by Qiao-Guo Tan, Shunhua Lu, Rong Chen, Jinghe Peng
Salinity has considerable effects on the toxicity of metals in estuarine waters. The effects of salinity are manifold, making it difficult to summarize for risk assessments. In this study, we separated and quantified the multiple effects of salinity on cadmium (Cd) in a toxicokinetic–toxicodynamic framework. The estuarine clam, Potamocorbula laevis, was used as a model organism. Cd bioaccumulation was measured using a stable-isotope-tracer technique; in parallel, toxicity tests were conducted. With the increase of salinity from 5 to 30, Cd uptake decreased monotonically. In contrast, the intrinsic sensitivity of organisms, measured by the toxicodynamic parameters, reached its minimum at intermediate salinities (i.e., 10 to 20). The overall salinity effects were dominated by the effects on Cd bioaccumulation; therefore, Cd toxicity decreased monotonically with the increases of salinity. The model developed in this study could provide predictions of no-effect concentration (1.7 to 34.9 μg L–1, end point mortality) and the median lethal concentration (LC50) of Cd at different salinities. In conclusion, we developed a framework for quantifying the multiple effects of salinity and a method for estimating no-effect concentration from acute toxicity tests, which can be used for better assessments of metal risks in estuarine waters.