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Metal Accumulation by an Epigean and a Hypogean Freshwater Amphipod: Considerations for Water Quality Assessment

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To evaluate their potential as biomonitors of surface and underground water quality, the accumulation of essential metals, zinc and copper, by two species of amphipod crustaceans, Gammarus fossarum (an epigean amphipod) andNiphargus rhenorhodanensis (a similar but blind and hypogean form) was investigated. These two species were exposed, under controlled laboratory conditions, to different metal concentrations for 12 days. Several concentrations of each of the two metals separately and one concentration of a mixture of both were tested. Percent mortality revealed that the hypogean species was more resistant than the epigean. During the 12 days of experiment, accumulation patterns differed between species and between metals. G. fossarum, but not N. rhenorhodanensis, accumulated zinc at exposures of up to 12 days and concentrations as great as 1000 μg/L. Zinc levels in tissue of G. fossarum were greater than in those of N. rhenorhodanensis. Epigean and hypogean amphipods did not clearly accumulate copper in exposures as great as 65 μg/L. Possible reasons for the differences in zinc and copper accumulation between the two species are discussed. Finally, the suitability of the two species as biomonitors for surface and underground water is discussed.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/106143096X122401

Publication date: November 1, 1999

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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