Mercury toxicity to freshwater organisms: extrapolation using species sensitivity distribution.
Rodrigues ACM., Jesus FT., Fernandes MAF., Morgado F., Soares AMVM., Abreu SN.
Mercury toxicity to aquatic organisms was evaluated in different taxonomic groups showing the following species sensitivity gradient: Daphnia magna > Daphnia longispina > Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata > Chlorella vulgaris > Lemna minor > Chironomus riparius. Toxicity values ranged from 3.49 μg/L (48 h-EC₅₀ of D. magna) to 1.58 mg/L (48 h-EC₅₀ of C. riparius). A species sensitivity distribution was used to estimate hazardous mercury concentration at 5 % level (HC5) and the predicted no effect concentration (PNEC). The HC5 was 3.18 μg Hg/L and the PNEC varied between 0.636 and 3.18 μg Hg/L, suggesting no risk of acute toxicity to algae, plants, crustaceans and insects in most freshwaters.