• Dietary cadmium;
  • Reproduction;
  • Moina monogolica Daday;
  • Water quality criteria


The chronic toxicity of dietary cadmium to the saltwater cladoceran Moina monogolica Daday and its relative toxicity compared with aquatic exposure were investigated in the present study. The microalgae Chlorella pyrenoidosa, exposed to cadmium in growth inhibition tests, had a 96-h median effective concentration (EC50) of 81.2 µg Cd/L (95% confidence intervals [CIs] = 71.9–95.1). C. pyrenoidosa exposed for 96 h to sublethal dissolved cadmium concentrations in the range 4.10 ± 0.30 to 70.29 ± 0.31 µg/L resulted in algal cadmium burdens up to 73.86 × 10−16 g Cd/cell. Cellular cadmium burdens accumulated in a dose-dependent manner, whereas cell densities inversely declined from 670 × 104 to 38 × 104 cells/ml with exposure to the increasing aqueous cadmium concentrations. C. pyrenoidosa preexposed to cadmium and used as food in a chronic 21-d toxicity test with the cladoceran M. monogolica, containing no added dissolved cadmium, inhibited reproduction. Significant reductions of the net reproduction rate (R0) per brood were observed in all broods, and the decline in the number of neonates produced increased with each subsequent brood. The cadmium concentration (4.10 ± 0.30 µg/L) in the algal culture water that produced the lowest algal cadmium burden (2.85 ± 0.76 × 10−16 g Cd/cell) was shown to inhibit M. monogolica reproduction and was compared with the water quality criteria (WQC) of China. This comparison indicated that dietary exposure to cadmium may cause sublethal responses at concentrations below the current cadmium WQC of China for aquaculture. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2010;29:365–372. © 2009 SETAC