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Use of the aquatic oligochaetes Lumbriculus variegatus and Tubifex tubifex for assessing the toxicity of copper and cadmium in a spiked-artificial-sediment toxicity test



A sediment toxicity test using the freshwater oligochaetes Lumbriculus variegatus and Tubifex tubifex was performed. We evaluated acute and chronic toxicity affects of copper and cadmium on reproduction in both species and the bioaccumulation of both metals by L. variegatus using artificial sediment. L. variegatus bioconcentrated copper 22-fold and cadmium 16-fold after a 14-day exposure to spiked artificial sediments with 0.02% organic content. The EC50 for T. tubifex varied depending upon endpoint from 2.7 to 2.8 mg/L for cadmium and from 8.4 to 8.9 mg/L for copper. The EC50 for L. variegatus was 2.2 mg/L for cadmium and 3.9 mg/L for copper. Based on these results, L. variegatus appears to be more sensitive to metal toxicity in artificial sediments than T. tubifex. ©1999 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Environ Toxicol 14: 271–278, 1999