Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Modeling the bioavailability of nickel and zinc to Ceriodaphnia dubia and Neocloeon triangulifer in toxicity tests with Natural Waters

July 23, 2021

We studied biotic ligand model (BLM) predictions of toxicity of nickel (Ni) and zinc (Zn) in natural waters from Illinois and Minnesota USA which had combinations of pH, hardness, and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) more extreme than 99.7% of waters in a nationwide database. We conducted 7-d chronic tests with Ceriodaphnia dubia, and 96-hr acute test and 14-d chronic tests with Neocloeon triangulifer, and estimated LC50s and EC20s for both species. Toxicity of Ni and Zn to both species differed among test waters by factors from 8 (Zn tests with C. dubia) to 35 (Zn tests with N. triangulifer). For both species and metals, tests with Minnesota waters (low pH and hardness, high DOC) showed lower toxicity than Illinois waters (high pH, high hardness, low DOC). Recalibration of the Ni BLM to be more responsive to pH-related changes improved predictions of Ni toxicity, especially for C. dubia. We compared several input data scenarios for the Zn BLM, which generally had minor effects on Model Performance Scores (MPS). A scenario that included inputs of modeled dissolved inorganic carbon and measured Al and Fe(III) produced highest MPS values for tests with both C. dubia and N. triangulifer. Overall, the BLM framework successfully modeled variation in toxicity for both Zn and Ni across wide ranges of water chemistry in tests with both standard and novel test organisms.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2021
Title Modeling the bioavailability of nickel and zinc to Ceriodaphnia dubia and Neocloeon triangulifer in toxicity tests with Natural Waters
DOI 10.1002/etc.5178
Authors John M. Besser, Chris D. Ivey, Jeffery Steevens, Danielle Cleveland, David J. Soucek, Amy Dickinson, Eric J. Van Genderen, Adam C. Ryan, Chris E. Schlekat, Emily R. Garman, Elizabeth Middleton, Robert C. Santore
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Series Number
Index ID 70223325
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Columbia Environmental Research Center