Use of whole-body and subcellular Cu residues of Lumbriculus variegatus to predict waterborne Cu toxicity to both L. variegatus and Chironomus riparius in fresh water

Tania Y.T. Ng, Nish M. Pais, Tarunpreet Dhaliwal, Chris M. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


We tested the use of whole-body and subcellular Cu residues (biologically-active (BAM) and inactive compartments (BIM)), of the oligochaete Lumbriculus variegatus to predict Cu toxicity in fresh water. The critical whole-body residue associated with 50% mortality (CBR 50) was constant (38.2-55.6μgg -1 fresh wt.) across water hardness (38-117mgL -1 as CaCO 3) and exposure times during the chronic exposure. The critical subcellular residue (CSR 50) in metal-rich granules (part of BIM) associated with 50% mortality was approximately 5μgg -1 fresh wt., indicating that Cu bioavailability is correlated with toxicity:subcellular residue is a better predictor of Cu toxicity than whole-body residue. There was a strong correlation between the whole-body residue of L. variegatus (biomonitor) and survival of Chironomus riparius (relatively sensitive species) in a hard water Cu co-exposure. The CBR 50 in L. variegatus for predicting mortality of C. riparius was 29.1-45.7μgg -1 fresh wt., which was consistent within the experimental period; therefore use of Cu residue in an accumulator species to predict bioavailability of Cu to a sensitive species is a promising approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1208-1214
Number of pages7
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2012



  • Bioaccumulation
  • Chironomid
  • Critical whole-body residue
  • Cu toxicity
  • Oligochaete
  • Subcellular residue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)

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