Toxicity of inorganic contaminants, individually and in environmental mixtures, to three endangered fishes (Colorado squawfish, bonytail, and razorback sucker)
Two life stages of three federally-listed endangered fishes, Colorado squawfish (Ptychocheilus lucius), bonytail (Gila elegans), and razorback sucker (Xyrauchen texanus) were exposed to copper, selenate, selenite, and zinc individually, and to mixtures of nine inorganics in a reconstituted water that simulated the water quality of the middle Green River, Utah. The mixtures simulated environmental ratios of arsenate, boron, copper, molybdenum, selenate, selenite, uranium, vanadium, and zinc in two tributaries, Ashley Creek and Stewart Lake outlet, of the middle Green River. The rank order of toxicity of the individual inorganics, from most to least toxic, was: copper > zinc > selenite > selenate. Colorado squawfish larvae were more sensitive to all four inorganics and the two mixtures than the juveniles, whereas there was no consistent response between the two life stages for the other two species. There was no consistent difference in sensitivity to the inorganics among the three endangered fishes. Both mixtures exhibited either additive or greater than additive toxicity to these fishes. The primary toxic components in the mixtures, based on toxic units, were copper and zinc. Acute toxicity values were compared to measured environmental concentrations in the two tributaries to derive margins of uncertainty. Margins of uncertainty were low for both mixtures (9–22 for the Stewart Lake outlet mixture, and 12–32 for the Ashley Creek mixture), indicating that mixtures of inorganics derived from irrigation activities may pose a hazard to endangered fishes in the Green River.
|Toxicity of inorganic contaminants, individually and in environmental mixtures, to three endangered fishes (Colorado squawfish, bonytail, and razorback sucker)
|Kevin J. Buhl, S. J. Hamilton
|Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
|USGS Publications Warehouse
|Columbia Environmental Research Center