A mechanistic model of contaminant‐induced feeding inhibition in Daphnia magna

Yvonne Allen, Peter Calow, Donald J. Baird

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    167 Scopus citations


    Particles in water ubiquitously carry a net negative charge. It was hypothesised that the interaction between suspended particles and pollutants in water results in a process of adsorption that can be related to the charge of the pollutant concerned, and that this is a potential route of pollutant uptake by aquatic animals such as particle‐grazing zooplankton. Experiments with the alga Chlorella vulgaris were conducted to test the hypothesis that pollutant‐induced feeding inhibition in the cladoceran Daphnia magna was dependent on this mechanism. Using compounds differing in charge, results supported the hypothesis that, while all compounds were capable of causing feeding inhibition, electropositive species such as cadmium induced effects close to the chronic no‐effect concentration, whereas electronegative species such as vanadium induced effects only at or close to lethal levels. It was suggested that for those compounds capable of causing feeding inhibition at sublethal concentrations, this inhibition would be a key mechanism impairing reproduction and growth, with potential consequences for grazing animals at population and community levels in natural ecosystems.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1625-1630
    Number of pages6
    JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
    Issue number9
    StatePublished - Sep 1995


    • Bioavailability
    • Chlorella vulgaris
    • Daphnia magna
    • Grazing behaviour


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