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Acute toxicity tests using rotifers. IV. Effects of cyst age, temperature, and salinity on the sensitivity of Brachionus calyciflorus.

Several aspects of the response to toxicants using a standardized toxicity test with the freshwater rotifer Brachionus calyciflorus are described. Test animals are obtained by hatching cysts which produce animals of similar age and physiological condition. The acute toxicity of 28 compounds is described with 24-hr LC50's. The LC50's span five orders of magnitude, from silver at 0.008 mg.liter-1 to benzene at more than 1000 mg.liter-1. Control mortality in 84 tests averaged 2% with a standard deviation of 3%, indicating very consistent test sensitivity. Only once in 84 trials did a test fail because of excessive control mortality, yielding a failure rate of 1.2%. Cyst age from 0 to 18 months had no effect on the sensitivity of neonates to reference toxicants. Both high and low temperatures increased rotifer sensitivity to reference toxicants. Copper sensitivity was greater at 10, 25, and 30 degrees C compared with results at 20 degrees C. Likewise, sodium pentachlorophenol toxicity was greater at 10 and 30 degrees C compared with results at 20 degrees C. Survivorship curves at 25 degrees C of neonates under control conditions indicated that mortality begins at about 30 hr. This places a practical limit on toxicant exposure for the assay of 24 hr. B. calyciflorus cysts hatch at salinities up to 5 ppt and acute toxicity tests using pentachlorophenol at this salinity yielded LC50's about one-half those of standard freshwater. B. calyciflorus is preferred over Brachionus plicatilis for toxicity tests in salinities up to 5 ppt because it is consistently more sensitive.[1]

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