Toxicity of silver to the marine teleost (Oligocottus maculosus): Effects of salinity and ammonia

Joseph R. Shaw, Chris M. Wood, Wesley J. Birge, Christer Hogstrand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Investigations were conducted to determine the toxicity and define parameters (i.e., ammonia, salinity) that influence the effects of silver on the tidepool sculpin (Oligocottus maculosus). In one scribes of experiments, static-renewal 168-h toxicity tests were conducted with silver at 32‰ (i.e., ambient) and 25‰ salinity seawater. Silver was analyzed in fish that survived these exposures. Toxicity was greater at the lower salinity. The 96- h and 168-h 50% lethal concentration (LC50) values were 3.07 μmol Ag/L (0.331 mg Ag/L) and 1.11 μmol Ag/L (0.119 mg Ag/L) at 25‰ and 6.2 μmol Ag/L (0.664 mg Ag/L) and 4.37 μmol Ag/L (0.472 mg Ag/L) at 32‰ salinity, respectively. There was no correlation between whole-body silver burden and toxicity. Silver uptake increased with exposure concentrations at 25‰ salinity, but at 32‰ whole body accumulation did not exceed that observed for control fish irrespective of the concentrations tested. In another set of experiments, 96-h static-renewal toxicity tests were conducted with silver, ammonia, and combinations of each. The 96-h LC50 for ammonia was 5.9 mmol total ammonia (Tamm)/L (106 mg Tamm/L). When tested in combination, silver toxicity was enhanced and the onset of mortality hastened. Mortality increased in a dose-dependent fashion at 6.35 μmol Ag/L (0.685 mg Ag/L) from 55 to 100% in the presence of ammonia concentrations ranging from 0 to 12.60 mmol Tamm/L (0-226.8 mg Tamm/L). Conversely, the 50% lethal time (LT50) estimated at this level of silver exposure progressively dropped from 5,730 to 1,180 min over the same range of ammonia concentrations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)594-600
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 18 1998


  • Accumulation
  • Acute toxicity
  • Fish
  • Seawater
  • Silver

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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