The Lab-to-Field (LTF) Rating Scheme: A New Method of Investigating the Relationships between Laboratory Sublethal Toxicity Tests and Field Measurements in Environmental Effects Monitoring Studies
Abstract:The Lab-to-Field (LTF) rating scheme is a straightforward method of relating the results of effluent toxicity tests to the field survey measurements and has proven to be a useful tool for interpretation of Environmental Effects Monitoring studies for pulp and paper mills in the province of Ontario. The LTF method uses the same five-level scale (level 1 for no or low response to level 5 for severe response) for rating the toxicity and field survey results. Regression analysis of LTF scores has revealed that the relationship between the Ceriodaphnia reproduction test and benthic invertebrate field survey measurements was significant (p < 0.001, r = 0.79). However, there were not sufficient data to determine if this can be used as a predictive tool. Nonetheless, Ceriodaphnia-to-benthic survey, Selenastrum-to-benthic survey and fathead-to-fish survey relationships were qualitatively rated strong or moderately strong in 94%, 75%, and 60% of the 16 studies, respectively. The LTF rating scheme would benefit from the use of a more sensitive species or life stage of fish to strengthen the sublethal test-to-fish survey relationship. Further validation of the lab-to-field relationship could be accomplished through the synoptic collection of effluent samples for sublethal tests and field measurements.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Environmental Conservation Branch, Environment Canada, Ontario Region, Bington, Ontario 2: Environment and Minerals Division, Saskatchewan Research Council, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan 3: Method Development and Applications Section, Environmental Technology Centre, Environmental Protection Services, Environment Canada, Ottawa, Canada
Publication date: August 1, 2004