• Dicentrarchus labrax;
  • Dunaliella tertiolecta;
  • Paracentrotus lividus;
  • SDS;
  • test battery;
  • Tigriopus fulvus;
  • toxicity assessment;
  • Vibrio fischeri


For a toxicity assessment of substances entering the marine environment, it is preferable to carry out ecotoxicological tests on a base-set of taxa utilizing target species belonging to different trophic levels. In this study a battery composed of Vibrio fischeri (bacteria), Dunaliella tertiolecta (algae), Tigriopus fulvus (crustacea), Paracentrotus lividus (echinodermata), and Dicentrarchus labrax (pisces) was used for acute toxicity testing of sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS). SDS is an anionic surfactant widely employed in industry, agriculture, and domestic usage and therefore is found in abundance in the environment, particularly in the sea. The mean values of EC50 obtained were 2.6, 4.8, 7.4, 3.2, 7.3 mg L−1, respectively, for V. fischeri, D. tertiolecta, T. fulvus, P. lividus, and D. labrax. The results indicate the high acute toxicity of SDS with respect to all the trophic levels represented by the target species. In addition, they highlight the usefulness of employing a base-set of taxa rather than a single species in toxicological tests, in order to obtain more reliable information for the evaluation of toxicity and potential hazards to the marine environment of selected substances. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol 21: 373–379, 2006.