Chronic toxicity of major ion salts and their mixtures to Ceriodaphnia dubia

David R. Mount, Russell J. Erickson, Brandy B. Forsman, Terry L. Highland, J. Russell Hockett, Dale J. Hoff, Correne T. Jenson, Teresa J. Norberg-King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


In previous work we intensively studied the acute responses of the cladoceran Ceriodaphnia dubia to major geochemical ions (Na + , K + , Ca 2+ , Mg 2+ , Cl , SO 4 2– , and HCO 3 /CO 3 2– ), culminating in the development of models to predict acute toxicity from ionic composition. To quantitatively evaluate whether the toxicological behavior of major ions observed for C. dubia extends to chronic toxicity, we conducted 58 chronic toxicity tests with individual major salts and binary mixtures thereof. Chronic responses paralleled those demonstrated previously for acute exposure, specifically 1) similar relative toxicity of individual salts; 2) different Na salts showing similar potency when exposure is expressed as osmolarity; 3) toxicity of Mg, Ca, and K salts related to cation activity; 4) decreased toxicity of Na and Mg salts when Ca activity is increased at less than toxic concentrations; 5) additive behavior for salt mixtures sharing a common cation; and 6) independent behavior for salt mixtures with dissimilar cations, except Mg/Ca mixtures which appeared additive. Acute-to-chronic ratios were fairly consistent among salts, with values of approximately 1.8 for acute 50% lethal concentration (LC50) to chronic 50% effect concentration (EC50) and 2.8 for LC50/EC20 when expressed on an activity basis. Adjusting the previous acute toxicity model for acute-to-chronic ratios yielded chronic models that predict chronic toxicity within the range of intertest variability. Because these models are informed by a wide range of ion mixtures, they should provide robust assessment tools for natural waters enriched with major ions. Environ Toxicol Chem 2019;9999:1–18.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
StatePublished - Apr 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Published 2018 Wiley Periodicals Inc. on behalf of SETAC. This article is a US government work and, as such, is in the public domain in the United States of America


  • Aquatic toxicology
  • Ceriodaphnia dubia
  • Major ions
  • Toxicity mechanisms
  • Toxicity models

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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