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The present study assessed the chronic toxicity of cadmium (Cd) and nickel (Ni) mixtures to Daphnia magna. Using a titration design, Ni concentrations of 20, 40, 80, 100, 120, 140, and 160 μg/L were tested alone and simultaneously titrated in increments against a constant concentration of 1.5 μg/L Cd. The results demonstrated that Cd at 1.5 μg/L was highly toxic to D. magna, and Ni alone concentrations ≥80 μg/L were toxic to D. magna survival, reproduction, and growth. No Ni alone concentration was found to induce a toxic effect on undeveloped embryos and the time to first brood. Only the Ni alone treatment containing 200 μg/L affected the reproductive rates of D. magna. For CdNi mixtures, Ni concentrations of 20, 40, and 80 μg/L were found to strongly protect D. magna from Cd toxicity at the survival and growth endpoints, resulting in less-than-additive effects, but not on the reproductive endpoint. At higher concentrations, Ni exceeded the necessary concentration needed to protect D. magna, and appeared to contribute to the toxicity. Overall, the results of metal uptake support the competitive binding mechanism at the biotic ligand and explain the less-than-additive effects observed in the CdNi mixtures concentration. The embryonic effects of CdNi mixtures are not explained by the competitive binding mechanism at the biotic ligand. More research is needed to determine the mechanisms that produce embryonic impairment when cellular metals interact. Overall, the results of the present study are relevant for the development of improved environmental quality guidelines for metal mixtures.


Author Posting. © Elsevier Ltd. 2018. This article is posted here by permission of Elsevier for personal use, not for redistribution. The article was published in Chemosphere, 2018,

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.