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Development of physiological and biochemical toxicity tests with freshwater species and their validation in the laboratory and in field microcosms and mesocosms

Objective

- Development of relatively simple, sensitive and reliable toxicity tests, based upon physiological and biochemical response criteria, for predicting the environmental hazard of new chemical substances.
- Validation of these tests in the laboratory and also in stream and pond mesocosms and microcosms which mimic the complex environmental conditions found in natural freshwater ecosystems;
- Identification of the most useful tests and formulation of "Standard Operating Procedures", in a form suitable for incorporation into the Community procedures for the testing, notification and classification of dangerous substances.


Biochemical and physiological laboratory toxicity tests will be developed, applying cellular and subcellular in vitro procedures, and whole organism procedures. The test organisms used will include groups representative of different trophic levels and occuring in pelagic and benthic environments (e.g. gammarids, rotifers, cladocerans, copepods, algae and fishes). The tests will be developed and evaluated applying reference chemicals selected from those (copper, lindane, atrazine, 3,4-dichloroaniline) employed in previous projects in the Environment Research Programmes, which will allow direct comparison of test sensitivities. Further chemicals will be used when appropriate (e.g. 2,4-dinitrophenole, rotenone, malathione, cabaryle, etc.).

Validation of these ecotoxicological tests will be achieved

a) by comparing the physiological/biochemical results (e.g. concerning the endpoints "scope for growth", membrane injury and cytotoxicity, lysis of erythrocytes, uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation, inhibition of the photosynthetic and/or respiratory electron transport, inhibition of acetylcholinesterase, alkylating and/or SH-inhibiting activity, gill pathology, injury of haem biosynthetic pathway, etc.) to those obtained in previous laboratory studies using conventional indicators of toxicology, and

b) in the field, by comparing the physiological/biochemical endpoints which have been identified as sensitive in the laboratory tests with impacts at the population (e.g. invertebrate population densities and drift) and ecosystem level (e.g. community photosynthesis, respiration, carbon and nitrogen flux and cycling) in stream and pond micro- or mesocosms.

Call for proposal

Data not available

Coordinator

University of Wales Cardiff
Address

CF1 3TL Cardiff
United Kingdom
 

Participants (4)

FRAUNHOFER-GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FOERDERUNG DER ANGEWANDTEN FORSCHUNG E.V.
Germany
Address
Auf Dem Aberg 1
57392 Schmallenberg
 
GSF-RESEARCH CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH
Germany
Address
Ingolstädter Landstrasse 1
85758 Oberschleissheim
 
Shell Research Ltd
United Kingdom
Address
Sittingbourne Research Centre Broad Oak Street
ME9 8AG Sittingbourne
 
Universiteit Gent
Belgium
Address
22,Jozef Plateaustraat
9000 Gent