Standard Guide for Conducting Laboratory Toxicity Tests with Freshwater Mussels
|Publication Date:||1 April 2006|
|ICS Code (Examination of biological properties of water):||13.060.70|
This standard guide describes methods for conducting laboratory toxicity tests with early life stages of freshwater mussels including glochidia and juvenile mussels in water-only exposures (Annex A1). Future revisions to this standard may describe methods for conducting toxicity tests with (1) adult freshwater mussels and (2) contaminated sediments using various life stages of freshwater mussels.
Many factors are cited as potentially contributing to the decline of freshwater mussel populations in North America. Of the nearly 300 taxa of freshwater mussels in North America, 70 species (23 %) are listed as endangered or threatened and another 40 species (14 %) are candidates for possible listing (Williams et al 1993 (1); Neves 1997, 2004 (2, 3)).2 Habitat alteration, introduction of exotic species, over-utilization, disease, predation and pollution are considered causal or contributing factors in many areas of the United States (Neves et al 1997) (4). Over the past decade, there have been over 75 published studies conducted that have evaluated the role of contaminants in the decline of populations of freshwater mussels (Kernaghan et al 2005) (5). In these studies, early life stages of mussels of several species are highly sensitive to some metals and ammonia in water exposures when compared to many of the most sensitive species of other invertebrates, fish, or amphibians that are commonly used to establish U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Water Quality Criteria (WQC; Augspurger et al 2003 (6), Keller et al 2005 (7), Kernaghan et al 2005 (5); USGS (2005a,b) (8, 9) section 1.5). Importantly, results of these previous studies indicate WQC for individual chemicals established for the protection of aquatic organisms may not be adequately protective of sensitive stages of freshwater mussels.
This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. Specific hazard statements are given in Section 7.