Decreasing toxicity of un-ionized ammonia on the gastropod Bellamya aeruginosa when moving from laboratory to field scale


Liu M., Wang H., Wang H., Ma S., Yu Q., Uddin K. B. , ...More

ECOTOXICOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SAFETY, vol.227, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 227
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2021.112933
  • Title of Journal : ECOTOXICOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SAFETY
  • Keywords: Ammonia, Gastropods, Scale-dependent toxicity, Lab test, Field test, FRESH-WATER SNAIL, PHYSIOLOGICAL-RESPONSES, HYALELLA-AZTECA, IN-SITU, SEDIMENT, NITROGEN, GROWTH, METALS, FISH, DENITRIFICATION

Abstract

Along with a steady increasing use of artificial nitrogen fertilizer, concerns have been raised about the effects that high nitrogen loading may have on ecosystems. Due to the toxicity of unionized ammonia (NH3), tolerance criteria have been proposed for ambient water management in many countries; however, these are mainly based on acute or chronic tests carried out under lab conditions run with purified water. Aiming at understanding the responses of organisms to natural exposure to high ammonia concentrations, a Viviparidae gastropod, Bellamya aeruginosa, was tested at three experimental scales: standard 96-h lab test, one-month cage test in 6 experimental ponds with continuous nitrogen inputs, and intensive investigation of the B. aeruginosa from these ponds in spring and winter. The results were: 1) 96-h LC50 in the standard lab test was 0.56 mg NH3-N/L and 343.3 mg TAN/L (total ammonia expressed as N, standardized at pH 7 and 20 celcius). 2) In the one-month cage test, the survival rate was 97% when NH3-N was 0.61 mg/L (i.e., a higher concentration than the lab 96-h LC50) and the body size of the gastropods actually increased with increasing NH3-N concentrations. 3) In the winter-spring investigation, little effect of ammonia on the standing crops of gastropods was found, and the body size of the gastropods tended to increase with increasing ammonia concentrations (NH3-N concentration range of 0.05 similar to 2.06 mg/L). Thus, B. aeruginosa showed higher tolerance to ammonia exposure (NH3-N concentration < 0.81 mg/L) in the field than under laboratory conditions. Our study points to the necessity of considering the relevant scale when determining criteria for ammonia toxicity in water management.