The Journal of toxicological sciences

Effects of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) on an aquatic ecosystem: acute toxicity and community-level toxic impact tests of benzo[a]pyrene using lake zooplankton community.

PMID 23358147


We estimated acute toxicity of benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) using two cladoceran species, Ceriodaphnia reticulata and Daphnia magna, and also analyzed its impact on zooplankton community throughout an exposure experiment using small-scale mesocosms. LC(50) of B[a]P for C. reticulata and D. magna was 4.3 and 4.7 µg/l, respectively. However, individuals fed with Chlorella showed higher LC(50), 6.1 µg/l for C. reticulata and 8.0 µg/l for D. magna. In the exposure experiment, we examined the impact of B[a]P on zooplankton community using conceivable concentrations in the environment (5 and 10 µg/l) using typical zooplankton community in eutrophicated systems. Despite the residence time of B[a]P in the water column was short as < 4 days, application of B[a]P induced decrease of zooplankton abundance. However, the recovery pattern was different among cladocerans and rotifers. Consequently, B[a]P showed insecticide-like impacts, suppressing cladoceran populations and inducing the dominance of rotifers particularly under high concentration (10 µg/l). Results have suggested that, even such short duration of B[a]P in the water body can have impact on zooplankton abundance and community structure. Since B[a]P easily precipitate to the bottom and rapidly disappears from the water body, careful monitoring and further assessment of the potential toxicity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are necessary.