Effects of phenanthrene- and metal-contaminated sediment on the feeding activity of the Harpacticoid Copepod, Schizopera knabeni

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The effects of sediments contaminated with sublethal concentrations of phenanthrene (PAH) and metals (Cd, Hg, Pb) were evaluated in relation to their influence on the feeding activity of a harpacticoid copepod, Schizopera knabeni. A metal mixture (at the ratio of 5Pb:3Cd:2Hg) and Cd alone reduced grazing rates of S. knabeni feeding on (14)C-labeled microalgae. Cadmium alone and Cd combined with phenanthrene significantly decreased grazing rates of S. knabeni at Cd concentrations above 49 mg kg(-1) dry sediment. No grazing was observed in 98, 106, or 157 mg kg(-1) dry sediment Cd alone or in sediment contaminated with phenanthrene (98 mg kg(-1) dry sediment) combined with Cd at these concentrations. Phenanthrene alone also caused a significant decrease (55%) in S. knabeni grazing rates. Feeding ceased above 344 mg kg(-1) dry sediment of the metal mixture alone and combined with phenanthrene. Results were consistent with an independent effect on feeding when Cd and phenanthrene were combined. When other metals were added (Pb and Hg) to the mixture, results were consistent with an additive influence on feeding rate. Because the underlying mechanisms of toxicity for metals and PAH are probably different, our observations suggest that reductions in grazing probably did not directly contribute to the lethal effects of phenanthrene or metals. The absence of interactive effects on feeding suggests that metal-PAH interactive effects on lethality have a different underlying mechanism and that reductions in grazing probably did not directly contribute to the lethality effects of phenanthrene or metals in S. knabeni.

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Archives of environmental contamination and toxicology

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