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The impact of temperature on metal mixture stress: Sublethal effects on the freshwater isopod Asellus aquaticus

Van Ginneken, M., Blust, R., Bervoets, L.
Environmental research 2019 v.169 pp. 52-61
Asellus aquaticus, aquatic ecosystems, bioavailability, cadmium, copper, freshwater, lead, monitoring, sublethal effects, temperature
Chemical and natural factors have been demonstrated to interact and potentially change the toxicity of the individual stressors. Yet, while there exists a multitude of papers studying the temperature-dependent toxicity of single chemicals, little research exists on the impact of temperature on chemical mixtures. This paper investigates the effect of temperature on environmentally-relevant mixtures of Cd, Cu and Pb. We linked the effects on respiration, growth, feeding rate and activity of Asellus aquaticus to the free ion activities, as a measure for the bioavailability of the metals, and the body concentrations. We observed interactions of temperature and metal body concentrations on all sublethal endpoints, except activity. Mixture effects on accumulation and feeding rate were observed as well and even an interaction between metal body burden, mixture and temperature treatment was revealed for the feeding rate of Pb exposed isopods. This research adds to a growing body of evidence that the current chemical-based monitoring is insufficient to estimate chemical toxicity in aquatic ecosystems and must, therefore, be complemented with effect-based tools.