The effect of food on the acute toxicity of silver nitrate to four freshwater test species and acute-to-chronic ratios Academic Article uri icon

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  • Acute silver toxicity studies were conducted with and without food for four common freshwater test species: Daphnia magna, Ceriodaphnia dubia, Pimephales promelas (fathead minnow-FHM), and Oncorhynchus mykiss (rainbow trout-RBT) in order to generate acute-to-chronic ratios (ACR). The studies were conducted similarly (i.e., static-renewal or flow-through) to chronic/early-life stage studies that were previously performed in this laboratory. The acute toxicity (EC/LC50 values) of silver without food ranged from 0.57 μg dissolved Ag/l for C.dubia to 9.15 μg dissolved Ag/l for RBT. The presence of food resulted in an increase in EC/LC50 values from 1.25× for RBT to 22.4× for C. dubia. Invertebrate food type was also shown to effect acute silver toxicity. Food did not affect EC/LC50s or ACRs as greatly in fish studies as in invertebrate studies. ACRs for both invertebrate species were <1.0 when using acute studies without food but were 1.22 and 1.33 when using acute studies with food. ACRs for FHMs ranged from 4.06 to 7.19, while RBT ACRs ranged from 28.6 to 35.8 depending on whether food was present in acute studies. The data generated from this research program should be useful in re-determining a final ACR for silver in freshwater as well as in risk assessments.


  • Naddy, Rami B
  • McNerney, Gina R
  • Gorsuch, Joseph W
  • Bell, Russell A
  • Kramer, James Richard
  • Wu, Kuen B
  • Paquin, Paul R

publication date

  • November 2011