Multi-linear regression analysis, preliminary biotic ligand modeling, and cross species comparison of the effects of water chemistry on chronic lead toxicity in invertebrates

A. J. Esbaugh, K. V. Brix, E. M. Mager, K. De Schamphelaere, M. Grosell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations


The current study examined the chronic toxicity of lead (Pb) to three invertebrate species: the cladoceran Ceriodaphnia dubia, the snail Lymnaea stagnalis and the rotifer Philodina rapida. The test media consisted of natural waters from across North America, varying in pertinent water chemistry parameters including dissolved organic carbon (DOC), calcium, pH and total CO 2. Chronic toxicity was assessed using reproductive endpoints for C. dubia and P. rapida while growth was assessed for L. stagnalis, with chronic toxicity varying markedly according to water chemistry. A multi-linear regression (MLR) approach was used to identify the relative importance of individual water chemistry components in predicting chronic Pb toxicity for each species. DOC was an integral component of MLR models for C. dubia and L. stagnalis, but surprisingly had no predictive impact on chronic Pb toxicity for P. rapida. Furthermore, sodium and total CO 2 were also identified as important factors affecting C. dubia toxicity; no other factors were predictive for L. stagnalis. The Pb toxicity of P. rapida was predicted by calcium and pH. The predictive power of the C. dubia and L. stagnalis MLR models was generally similar to that of the current C. dubia BLM, with R 2 values of 0.55 and 0.82 for the respective MLR models, compared to 0.45 and 0.79 for the respective BLMs. In contrast the BLM poorly predicted P. rapida toxicity (R 2 = 0.19), as compared to the MLR (R 2 = 0.92). The cross species variability in the effects of water chemistry, especially with respect to rotifers, suggests that cross species modeling of invertebrate chronic Pb toxicity using a C. dubia model may not always be appropriate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)423-431
Number of pages9
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - C Toxicology and Pharmacology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2012



  • Ceriodaphnia dubia
  • Dissolved organic carbon
  • Pb
  • Rotifer
  • Snail
  • Water quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Physiology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Toxicology

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