Understanding the ecological status of aquatic ecosystems and the impact of anthropogenic contamination requires correlating exposure to toxicants with impact on biological communities. Several tools exist for assessing the ecotoxicity of substances, but there is still a need for new tools that are ecologically relevant and easy to use. We have developed a protocol based on the substrate-induced respiration of a river biofilm community, using the MicroResp technique, in a pollution-induced community tolerance approach. The results show that MicroResp can be used in bioassays to assess the toxicity toward biofilm communities of a wide range of metals (Cu, Zn, Cd, Ag, Ni, Fe, Co, Al and As). Moreover, a community-level physiological profile based on the mineralization of different carbon substrates was established. Finally, the utility of MicroResp was confirmed in an in-situ study showing gradient of tolerance to copper correlated to a contamination gradient of this metal in a small river.
Environmental Pollution – Elsevier
Published: Jan 1, 2011
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