Effects of Cd, Co, Cu, Ni and Zn on asexual reproduction and early development of the tropical sea anemone Aiptasia pulchella
Howe, PL, Reichelt-Brushett, AJ & Clark, MW 2014, 'Effects of Cd, Co, Cu, Ni and Zn on asexual reproduction and early development of the tropical sea anemone Aiptasia pulchella', Ecotoxicology, vol. 23, no. 9, pp. 1593-1606.
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Currently few studies present sub-lethal toxicity data for tropical marine species, and there are no routine toxicity tests using marine cnidarians. The symbiotic sea anemone Aiptasia pulchella has been identified as a useful species for ecotoxicological risk assessment, and would provide a tropical marine cnidarian representative. Chronic sub-lethal toxicity tests assessing the effects of 28-day trace metal exposure on asexual reproduction in A. pulchella were investigated, and concentration-dependant reductions in the number of offspring that were produced were evident for all metal exposures. Metal concentration estimates causing 50% reductions in the numbers of asexually-reproduced juveniles after 28-day exposures (28-day effect concentrations 50%: EC50s) were 14 µg/L for copper, 63 µg/L for zinc, 107 µg/L for cobalt, 145 µg/L for cadmium, and 369 µg/L for nickel. Slightly higher 28-day EC50s of 16 µg/L for copper, 192 µg/L for zinc, 172 µg/L for cobalt, 185 µg/L for cadmium, and 404 µg/L for nickel exposures and were estimated based on reductions in the total number of live developed and undeveloped offspring. These sensitive and chronic sub-lethal toxicity estimates help fill the knowledge gap related to metal effects on cnidarians over longer exposure periods, and this newly-developed bioassay may provide a much needed tool for ecotoxicological risk assessment relevant to tropical marine environments.