Water, Air, & Soil Pollution

, 229:308 | Cite as

Hyperspectral Imaging of Macroinvertebrates—a Pilot Study for Detecting Metal Contamination in Aquatic Ecosystems

  • Johanna SalmelinEmail author
  • Ilkka Pölönen
  • Hannu-Heikki Puupponen
  • Heikki Hämäläinen
  • Anna K. Karjalainen
  • Ari Väisänen
  • Kari-Matti Vuori


The applicability of spectral analysis in detection of freshwater metal contamination was assessed by developing and testing a novel hyperspectral imaging (HSI) application for aquatic insect larvae (Trichoptera: Hydropsychidae). Larvae were first exposed to four different cadmium (Cd) concentrations: 0, 1, 10, and 100 μg L−1 for 96 h. Individual larvae were then preserved in ethanol, inspected with microscopy for the number of anomalies in larval gills, and imaged by hyperspectral camera operating with wavebands between 500 and 850 nm. Three additional larvae from each exposure were analyzed for tissue Cd concentration. Although the larval tissue Cd concentrations correlated positively with actual water concentrations, the toxicity response of larvae, i.e., frequency of gill abnormalities, did not differ among the Cd concentrations. In contrast, hyperspectral imaging data indicated some concentration-response relationship of larval spectral properties to the Cd exposure, but it was too weak for reliable automatic distinction between exposed and unexposed larvae. In this pilot study a workflow for data processing for a novel application of hyperspectral imaging was developed. Based on the results of this preliminary study, the workflow in the imaging process will be optimized and its potential for detecting metal contamination of aquatic environments reassessed.


Aquatic insect larvae Cadmium toxicity Fabry-Perot interferometer Hyperspectral imaging Metal pollution 



We thank Rauni Kauppinen from the Finnish Environment Institute for technical assistance.

Funding Information

This study was funded by the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, TEKES (grant number 40255/11).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11270_2018_3963_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (207 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 206 kb)
11270_2018_3963_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (122 kb)
ESM 2 (PDF 122 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological and Environmental ScienceUniversity of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland
  2. 2.Department of Mathematical Information TechnologyUniversity of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland
  3. 3.Department of ChemistryUniversity of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland
  4. 4.Finnish Environment Institute Laboratory Centre/Ecotoxicology and Risk AssessmentJyväskyläFinland
  5. 5.South Karelia InstituteLappeenranta University of TechnologyLappeenrantaFinland

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