Effects of Copper Ions on Non-target Species: A Case Study Using the Grazer Theodoxus fluviatilis (Gastropoda: Neritidae)

Abstract

The various uses of copper or copper compounds in industrial, biocidal or pesticidal products lead to inputs of the metal into aquatic environments. To assess effects of copper ions on non-target organisms, the freshwater snail Theodoxus fluviatilis was used as test organism for a three-week laboratory experiment. Snails were exposed to four copper concentrations ranging from 4 to 39 µg Cu2+/L, and besides mortality, several sublethal parameters were evaluated. Concerning survival, an aqueous copper concentration of 6 µg/L was determined as NOEC, and 16 (± 0.1) µg/L as LC50. Negative sublethal effects on reproduction, activity and pathological modifications in the snails were detected in the treatment with an aqueous copper concentration of 15 µg/L. Our results using T. fluviatilis as a mere grazer exclusively feeding on biofilms contribute to findings that field relevant copper concentrations have a significant effect on non-target organisms in aquatic environments.

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Acknowledgement

We thank Ina Janthur and Bonny Alscher for conducting analyses of nutrients and major ions and Jennifer Bartz for those of copper. The LimnoMar Laboratory for Freshwater and Marine Research Hamburg performed the histopathological analysis, here we are grateful to Anja Thomsen for preparation of snails. During this study Karsten Grabow at University of Education Karlsruhe supported the experimental design with expert knowledge regarding freshwater gastropods.

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Correspondence to Louisa Marie Rothmeier.

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Rothmeier, L.M., Martens, A., Watermann, B. et al. Effects of Copper Ions on Non-target Species: A Case Study Using the Grazer Theodoxus fluviatilis (Gastropoda: Neritidae). Bull Environ Contam Toxicol (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-020-02913-x

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Keywords

  • Biofilm
  • Snail
  • Histopathology
  • Sublethal
  • Reproduction