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Humic acid decreases acute toxicity and ventilation frequency in eastern rainbowfish (Melanotaenia splendida splendida) exposed to acid mine drainage

journal contribution
posted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Aleicia Holland, Leo Duivenvoorden, Susan Kinnear
Acid mine drainage (AMD) is a global problem leading to the acidification of freshwaters, as well as contamination by heavy metals. The ability of humic substances (HS) such as humic acid (HA) to decrease toxicity of heavy metals is widely known, whereas limited studies have examined the ability of HS to decrease toxicity linked with multiple stressors such as those associated with AMD. This study investigated the ability of HA to decrease acute toxicity defined as morbidity and ventilation frequency (measured via the time elapsed for 10 operculum movements) in eastern rainbowfish (Melanotaenia splendida splendida) exposed to the multiple stressors of AMD-driven heavy metal concentrations, together with low pH. Water from the Mount Morgan open pit (a now closed gold and copper mine site), located at Mount Morgan, Central Queensland, Australia, was used as the AMD source. Fish were exposed to 0% (pH 7.3), 2% (pH 6.7), 3% (pH 5.7) and 4% (pH 4.6) AMD in the presence of 0, 10 and 20 mg/L Aldrich Humic Acid (AHA) over 96 hours. HA was shown to significantly decrease the acute toxicity of AMD and its adverse effects on ventilation frequency. These results are important in showing that HA can influence toxicity of metal mixtures and low pH, thus indicating a potential role for HA in decreasing toxicity of multiple environmental stressors more widely, and possible value as a rehabilitation aid.

Funding

Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)

History

Volume

110

Start Page

16

End Page

20

Number of Pages

5

eISSN

1090-2414

ISSN

0147-6513

Location

United States

Publisher

Academic Press

Language

en-aus

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

External Author Affiliations

Industry, Vocational Training and Access Education Division; School of Medical and Applied Sciences (2013- ); TBA Research Institute;

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Ecotoxicology and environmental safety.