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Larvae and Small Species of Polychaetes in Marine Toxicological Testing


  1. Jian-Wen Qiu,
  2. Ming Hung Wong

Published Online: 15 JUL 2005

DOI: 10.1002/047147844X.oc66

Water Encyclopedia

Water Encyclopedia

How to Cite

Qiu, J.-W. and Wong, M. H. 2005. Larvae and Small Species of Polychaetes in Marine Toxicological Testing. Water Encyclopedia. 4:42–43.

Author Information

  1. Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2005


Polychaetes have been widely used as bioassay organisms in acute, chronic, and life-cycle tests since the 1960s to examine the toxicity of metals, sediment, sediment pore water, municipal effluents, petroleum hydrocarbons, pesticides, and other synthetic organic chemicals. In total, 49 polychaete species have been used in bioassays, of which most are small species that are available from laboratory culture. Relatively few studies have used polychaete larvae as bioassay organisms, although they are usually at least an order more sensitive than the adults of the same species. This entry provides a brief introduction of the commonly used polychaete species and types of bioassays, as well as some general conclusions about the bioassay results.


  • polychaete;
  • toxicity;
  • larvae;
  • bioassay;
  • acute test;
  • chronic test;
  • life-cycle test