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Evaluation of current copper bioavailability tools for soft freshwaters in Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
2015 (English)In: Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, ISSN 0147-6513, E-ISSN 1090-2414, Vol. 114, 143-149 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Water Framework Directive (WFD) in Europe calls for an improved aquatic ecological status. Biotic ligand models (ELM) have been suggested as a possible tool assisting in the regulatory process. The aim of this study was therefore to investigate the applicability of ELM under the WFD to set environmental quality standards (EQS), in particular regarding copper in Swedish freshwaters of which many are softer than those used for model calibration. Three different BLMs, one acute and two chronic, were applied to water chemistry data from 926 lakes and 51 rivers (1530 data entries) and evaluated with respect to their calibration range for input parameters. In addition, the predicted no-effect concentration (PNEC) for copper was calculated. From the 1530 data entries, 750 ended up outside of the BLM calibration range, when looking at the chemical parameters Ca2+, alkalinity, pH and DOC, primarily due to low carbonate alkalinity. Furthermore, the calculated Cu PNECs were higher than the suggested Swedish limit for Cu (4 mu g L-1) in surface waters for 98% and 99% of the cases concerning lakes and rivers, respectively. To conclude, our findings show that water chemical characteristics outside of the calibration ranges are quite common in Sweden and that the investigated models differ in how they calculate toxicity concerning Cu under these conditions. As a consequence, additional work is required to validate the BLMs by use of bioassays with representative species of soft waters. Such results will show if these models can be used outside of their calibration ranges and also which of the models that gives the most reliable results.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 114, 143-149 p.
Keyword [en]
Bioavailability tools, BLM, Sweden, Soft freshwater, Copper
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Applied Environmental Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-116780DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2015.01.023ISI: 000350928800019PubMedID: 25637749OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-116780DiVA: diva2:808155
Note

AuthorCount:4;

Available from: 2015-04-27 Created: 2015-04-27 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Biotic Ligand model: A tool for risk assessment of metals in Scandinavian fresh waters?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Biotic Ligand model: A tool for risk assessment of metals in Scandinavian fresh waters?
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Products from iron and copper mining are among Sweden’s top exports. However, as the metals are excavated, they often end up in the aquatic environment where they can cause toxicity. To implement the Water Framework Directive (WFD) within the European Union, all member states must classify their waters and set local environmental quality standards (EQS). These EQS are used to set the maximum concentration of a metal allowed in water and can be set both by the Swedish EPA and EU. The WFD EQS are to be based on the bioavailable metal fraction, as compared to the total metal concentration as have been used previously. As a tool in setting EQS, bioavailability models, like the biotic ligand model (BLM), have been proposed. BLMs can calculate toxicity endpoints based on water chemistry and organismal response and these predictions can be used for regional EQS values.

However, BLMs are often calibrated toward hard waters with neutral or high pH, containing low concentrations of natural organic material (NOM), a water chemistry most commonly found in the central and southern parts of Europe. The overarching aim of this doctoral thesis was, therefore, to assess the regulatory applicability of Cu BLMs for Swedish conditions.

Results from Paper I and II show that for at least 50% of Fennoscandinavian (Sweden, Finland and Norway) freshwater bodies, the models are not fully applicable. This due to crucial model input parameters being outside of the current calibration range of the Cu BLM. Papers II and III further showed that BLM calculated results differed from measured Cu toxicity to daphnids and algae, indicating that model-based EQS will not be protective for these organisms. Moreover, Paper III showed that Al had an impact on Cu speciation and, hence, toxicity. In conclusion, the present thesis shows that several available Cu BLMs are not yet fully applicable for Swedish or Scandinavian freshwater bodies due to incomplete parameterisation of the models.  To improve the applicability of the models, there is a need to calibrate the models for soft freshwater bodies and include Al and NOM properties as input parameters.

Abstract [sv]

Produkter från metallindustrin är bland Sveriges viktigaste exportprodukter. Metallutvinning leder dock till utsläpp som kan hamna i den akvatiska miljön och där orsaka toxicitet. Europeiska Unionens Vattendirektiv syftar till att alla medlemsstater ska klassificera sina vatten och ta fram miljökvalitetsnormer. Dessa normer ska baseras på den biotillgängliga fasen av metaller istället för den totala som tidigare. Biotiska ligand modeller (BLM) har förts fram som verktyg i denna process.

BLM kan beräkna utsläppsnivåer för sötvatten baserat på rådande vattenkemi samt vattenorganismers känslighet och ger användaren en specifikt anpassad rekommendation (LC/EC50, NOEC, PNEC o.s.v.).

Dock är dessa modeller ofta kalibrerade för en vattenkemi gällande i de centrala och södra delarna av Europa. I Sverige är det vanligt med sura mjuka vatten, vilka har en högre koncentration av biotillgängliga metaller vilka kan orsaka toxicitet. Det övergripande syftet med denna doktorsavhandling var att undersöka hur dagens BLM för koppar (Cu) fungerar för svenska sötvatten.

Resultaten från Artikel I och II visar att en stor del av de Fennoskandinaviska vatten som testats faller utanför kalibreringsintervallet för BLM.

Vidare visar Artikel III och IV att de testade modellerna inte på ett korrekt sätt kunde uppskatta toxicitet för alger och vattenloppor, vilket innebär att de inte räknar ut skyddande rekommendationer för dessa arter. Det var även tydligt i Artikel IV att aluminium (Al) påverkar kopparspecieringen och genom detta även koppars toxicitet. Sammanfattningsvis visar denna avhandling att flera tillgängliga BLM inte är helt applicerbara i mjuka vatten, ofta p.g.a. opassande intervall för de kemiska parametrarna. För att förbättra tillämpbarheten av BLMs i Sverige krävs det att modellerna dels kalibreras för den rådande vattenkemin och dels att Al och NOMs egenskaper inkluderas.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry, Stockholm University, 2016. 40 p.
Keyword
BLM, Soft freshwaters, Sweden, Cu
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Applied Environmental Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-124330 (URN)978-91-7649-301-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-02-19, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2006-638
Available from: 2016-01-27 Created: 2015-12-17 Last updated: 2017-02-17Bibliographically approved

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