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Effect of Marine Sediments Associated with the Orange County, California, Ocean Outfall on the Survival and Growth of Juvenile Neanthes arenaceodentata (Annelida: Polychaeta)

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Sediments taken from the ocean outfall of the County Sanitation Districts of Orange County, California, were tested for toxicity using Neanthes arenaceodentata survival and growth as the criteria to measure toxic effects. Eight experiments were conducted in which juveniles taken from a laboratory-inbred population were exposed to sediments from varying distances from the discharge. Sediment geochemical parameters measured included organic carbon, grain size, and concentrations of metals, dichlorodiphenyl trichloromethane, and polychlorinated biphenyl 1254. Controls consisted of seawater, seawater with inert silica, and sediment from control sites. Stations were grouped by their relative distance from the discharge point. Organic carbon and certain metal concentrations were greater at the discharge but not significantly different from other sites. Survival was approximately 90% in almost all test exposures. Worm growth rate, expressed as milligrams growth (dry weight) per day, was greater in animals exposed to field sediments compared to controls. This difference was attributed to the presence of organic matter in the field sediment. Results indicate that sediments from the Districts' outfall are not toxic to this species.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1999-11-01

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