Trophic-Level Interactive Effects of Phosphorus Availability on the Toxicities of Cadmium, Arsenic, and Their Binary Mixture in Media-Exposed Scenedesmus acutus and Media and Dietary-Exposed Daphnia pulex

Olushola M. Awoyemi, Seenivasan Subbiah, Kelsey N. Thompson, Anahi Velazquez, Angela Peace, Gregory D. Mayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Various anthropogenic activities simultaneously alter essential mineral nutrients and contaminant content in the environment. Depending on essential nutrient conditions, the uptake and effects of contaminants in exposed organisms may be altered. The addressing of ecological risk assessment (ERA) of contaminant mixtures has proven difficult. Furthermore, most assessments involving single contaminant exposures do not consider the interaction of essential nutrients on toxicological end points. Hypotheses for toxicological effects of cadmium (Cd), arsenic (As), and their binary mixture (Cd/Asmix) include alteration under varying dietary and media phosphorus (P) conditions. However, interactive effects and effect size (η2) are largely unknown. Here, we investigated the toxicities of Cd-, As-, and Cd/Asmix-treated media and diets on Scenedesmus acutus (a primary producer) and Daphnia pulex (a primary consumer), under varied media and dietary P conditions [low (LP), median (MP), and optimum (COMBO)]. Our results showed significant (p < 0.05) interactive effects and concentration dependent growth inhibition of S. acutus. The toxicity (at day 7) of Cd against S. acutus was 2×, 11×, and 4× that of As in LP, MP, and COMBO conditions, respectively, while the joint toxicity effects of Cd/Asmix were partially additive in LP and COMBO, and synergistic in MP media. Furthermore, acute lethal toxicity (96 h) of Cd in D. pulex was ∼60× that of As, while Cd/Asmix joint toxicity was synergistic. Chronic toxicity (14 d) in D. pulex showed significant (p < 0.05) interaction of As and P-availability on survival, reproduction, and behavior (distance moved, velocity, acceleration and mobility), while Cd and P availability showed significant interactive effect on rotational behavior. Dose response effects of Cd, As, and Cd/Asmix in S. acutus and D. pulex were either monophasic or biphasic under varying nutrient conditions. This study provides empirical evidence of the interactive effects of media/dietary P and toxic metals (Cd, As, and Cd/Asmix) at environmentally relevant concentrations, emphasizing the need for consideration of such interactions during ERA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5651-5666
Number of pages16
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume54
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - May 5 2020

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