Application of Rotifer Continuous Cultures to Ecotoxicology
Ecotoxicological assays may exploit key features of open culture systems, with the underlying assumption that toxicity is best understood within the context of an overall examination of the physiological and environmental factors influencing growth. Over the past decade, a number of methods have been developed in our laboratory to apply the theory and practice of microbial continuous culture systems (Monod 1950; Novick and Szilard 1950) to understanding rotifer population growth (Boraas 1980, 1983; Boraas and Bennett 1988; Chaps. 2.1, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.4, 5.2, 6.1, this Vol.). Recently, our research has focused on the potential power of open culture systems (chemostats, turbidostats, and semicontinuous cultures) to assess the effects of various toxins (NaC1, heavy metals) on algae (Seale et al. 1987; Bennett 1988, 1989, 1990). All such systems provide a regular supply of toxicants along with fresh nutrient, and the concurrent removal of organisms and metabolic wastes. These characteristics minimize the confounding effects of variability of some factors which cannot be held constant in batch culture, such as metabolic products, food, and toxin level. This paper explores the potential utility of these approaches for assessing toxic effects in rotifers.
KeywordsBiomass Toxicity Cage Phytoplankton Hydrocarbon
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