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Influence of sediment biofilm on the behaviour of aluminum and its bioavailability to the snail Lymnaea stagnalis in neutral freshwater

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An important influence on the behaviour, bioavailability, and toxicity of Al in neutral freshwater is its ability to form complexes with organic material such as humic acids and extracellular polymeric substances (EPS). This paper examines the influence of EPS, secreted by a natural bacterial biofilm associated with a pebble substrate ("sediment biofilm") and by the snail Lymnaea stagnalis, on the behaviour of Al in the water column and its bioavailability to the snail. Both sediment biofilm and snails were a significant source of aqueous EPS. Added Al stimulated the production of EPS by the snail but not by bacterial biofilm. Repeated elevation of the concentration of Al in the water by 500 µg Al·L–1 but not 100 µg Al·L–1 over 10 days resulted in a progressive rise of Al in the water column in the absence but not in the presence of sediment biofilm. Up to 150 µg Al·cm–2 was associated with the sediment biofilm, and we suggest that sediment is a significant "sink" for aqueous Al. EPS avidly binds colloidal Al, and we propose that the sediment biofilm is an important influence on the behaviour and bioavailability of Al in running waters when amounts of humic substances are low.

La capacité de l'aluminium de former des complexes avec du matériel organique, tel que les acides humiques et les substances polymériques extracellulaires (EPS) influence de façon significative son comportement, sa biodisponibilité et sa toxicité en eau douce neutre. Nous examinons ici l'influences des EPS sécrétées par un biofilm bactérien naturel sur un substrat de cailloux (« biofilm des sédiments ») et par le gastéropode Lymnaea stagnalis sur le comportement de l'aluminium dans la colonne d'eau et sa biodisponibilité au gastéropode. Tant le biofilm des sédiments que les gastéropodes sont des sources significatives d'EPS aqueuses. L'addition d'aluminium stimule la production d'EPS par le gastéropode, mais pas par le biofilm bactérien. Des accroissements répétés des concentrations d'aluminium dans l'eau de l'ordre de 500 µg Al·L–1, mais non de 100 µg Al·L–1, sur une période de 10 jours ont causé une augmentation de l'aluminium dans la colonne d'eau en l'absence du biofilm des sédiments, mais non en sa présence. Des quantités d'aluminium pouvant atteindre 150 µg Al·cm–2 sont associées au biofilm des sédiments et les sédiments sont, croyons-nous, un puits important pour l'aluminium en forme aqueuse. Les EPS se lient facilement à l'aluminium colloïdal; nous suggérons donc que le biofilm des sédiments a une influence considérable sur le comportement et la biodisponibilité de l'aluminium en eau courante, lorsque les concentrations de substances humiques sont basses.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2001

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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