The relative importance of waterborne and dietborne As exposure on survival and growth of juvenile fathead minnows

Russell J. Erickson, David R. Mount, Terry L. Highland, J. Russell Hockett, Correne T. Jenson, Tylor J. Lahren

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4 Scopus citations


The survival and growth of juvenile fathead minnows were investigated at various combinations of waterborne exposure to arsenate and of dietborne exposure to oligochaete worms which had been exposed to inorganic arsenic. Previous work with rainbow trout established that dietborne arsenic can reduce fish growth at environmentally relevant concentrations and could be more important than waterborne exposures. This was found to be less true for fathead minnows, which were less sensitive to dietborne exposures than rainbow trout, while being as or more sensitive to waterborne exposures. When assessed on the basis of accumulation of total As by the fish, further differences between fathead minnows and rainbow trout were evident. Fathead minnows accumulated relatively more arsenic from water versus diet than trout, and the accumulations at which growth effects occurred in minnows were different for dietborne and waterborne exposure, whereas they were the same for trout. These results suggest complex relationships involving arsenic speciation, toxicokinetics, and toxicodynamics, and underscore a need for care in relating effects information to real-world exposures. The present study also demonstrated the challenges in testing and interpreting growth effects in long-term exposures to fish, because the expression of toxicity can be confounded by the relationship of fish growth to size, the feeding regime, and wet weight versus dry weight relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-28
Number of pages11
JournalAquatic Toxicology
StatePublished - Jun 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019


  • Accumulation
  • Arsenic
  • Chemical speciation
  • Dietborne vs. waterborne exposure
  • Fathead minnow


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