This study developed a tool able to evaluate the potential contamination of marine sediments detecting the presence or absence of toxicity supporting environmental decision-making processes. When the sample is toxic, it is important to classify its level of toxicity to understand its subsequent effects and management practices. Corophium insidiosum is a widespread and frequently recorded species along the Mediterranean Sea, North Sea and western Baltic Sea with records also in the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean. This amphipod is found in high abundance in shallow brackish inshore areas and estuaries also with high turbidity. At Italian level, C. insidiosum is more frequently collectable than Corophium orientale, making routine toxicity tests easier to be performed. Moreover, according to the international scientific literature, C. insidiosum is more sensitive than C. orientale. Whole sediment toxicity data (10 days) with C. insidiosum were organised in a species-specific toxicity score on the basis of the minimum significance difference (MSD) approach. Thresholds to rank samples as non-toxic and toxic were based on sediment samples (n = 84) from the Gulf of Taranto (Italy). A five-class toxicity score (absent, low, medium, high and very high toxicity) was developed, considering the distribution of the 90th percentile of the MSD normalised to the effects on the negative controls (samples from reference sites). This toxicity score could be useful for interpreting sediment potential impacts and providing quick responsive management information.
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 14, 2015
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