Toxicity of sediments from lead-zinc mining areas to juvenile freshwater mussels (Lampsilis siliquoidea) compared to standard test organisms

Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
By: , and 



Sediment toxicity tests compared chronic effects on survival, growth, and biomass of juvenile freshwater mussels (28-d exposures with Lampsilis siliquoidea) to the responses of standard test organisms—amphipods (28-d exposures with Hyalella azteca) and midges (10-d exposures with Chironomus dilutus)—in sediments from 2 lead–zinc mining areas: the Tri-State Mining District and Southeast Missouri Mining District. Mussel tests were conducted in sediments sieved to <0.25 mm to facilitate recovery of juvenile mussels (2–4 mo old). Sediments were contaminated primarily with lead, zinc, and cadmium, with greater zinc and cadmium concentrations in Tri-State sediments and greater lead concentrations in southeast Missouri sediments. The frequency of highly toxic responses (reduced 10% or more relative to reference sites) in Tri-State sediments was greatest for amphipod survival (25% of samples), midge biomass (20%), and mussel survival (14%). In southeast Missouri sediments, the frequency of highly toxic samples was greatest for mussel biomass (25%) and amphipod biomass (13%). Thresholds for metal toxicity to mussels, expressed as hazard quotients based on probable effect concentrations, were lower for southeast Missouri sediments than for Tri-State sediments. Southeast Missouri sites with toxic sediments had 2 or fewer live mussel taxa in a concurrent mussel population survey, compared with 7 to 26 taxa at reference sites. These results demonstrate that sediment toxicity tests with juvenile mussels can be conducted reliably by modifying existing standard methods; that the sensitivity of mussels to metals can be similar to or greater than standard test organisms; and that responses of mussels in laboratory toxicity tests are consistent with effects on wild mussel populations.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Toxicity of sediments from lead-zinc mining areas to juvenile freshwater mussels (Lampsilis siliquoidea) compared to standard test organisms
Series title Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
DOI 10.1002/etc.2849
Volume 34
Issue 3
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Contributing office(s) Columbia Environmental Research Center, Contaminant Biology Program
Description 14 p.
First page 626
Last page 639
Country United States
State Missouri
Other Geospatial Southeast Missouri Mining District, Tri-State Mining District
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details