The toxicity of arsenic(III), chromium(VI) and zinc to groundwater copepods

G. C. Hose*, K. Symington, M. J. Lott, M. J. Lategan

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    29 Citations (Scopus)


    Groundwater ecosystems globally are threatened by anthropogenic contamination, yet there are few ecotoxicological data using obligate groundwater biota on which to base risk assessments. Copepods are found inhabiting aquifers of different geologies around the world and so are a useful taxon for use in ecotoxicological studies of groundwater. The aim of this study was to test the sensitivity of obligate groundwater copepods to metal contaminants (arsenic(III), chromium(VI) and zinc) in groundwater in static 96 h, 14 days and 28 days exposure tests. The copepods were variably sensitive to As, Cr and Zn, with Cr being the most toxic across all taxa. No taxon was consistently most sensitive and there was no apparent relationship between the hardness, pH and organic carbon concentration of the diluent water and the sensitivity of biota. As expected, toxicity increased with exposure period and we encourage the use of longer exposure periods in future toxicity tests with groundwater organisms to reflect the greater exposure periods likely to be associated with groundwater contamination.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)18704-18713
    Number of pages10
    JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
    Issue number18
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2016


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