ABEEC

The Australasian Bulletin of Ecotoxicology and Environmental Chemistry (ABEEC) is the official bulletin of SETAC-AU. The bulletin welcomes Original Research Papers, Short Communications, Review Papers, Commentaries and Letters to the Editors. For information on guidelines to authors please contact the editors.

Editor-in-chief: Dr Reinier Mann (reinier.mann@qld.gov.au), Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts, GPO Box 2454, Brisbane Qld 4000, Australia.

Associated Editor: Dr Anne Colville (anne.colville@uts.edu.au), Centre for Environmental Sustainability, University of Technology, Sydney, Ultimo, NSW 2007, Australia.

Aims and Scope: The Australasian Bulletin of Ecotoxicology and Environmental Chemistry is a publication of the Australasian Chapter of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry – Asia Pacific (a geographic Unit of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry). It is dedicated to publishing scientifically sound research articles dealing with all aspects of ecotoxicology and environmental chemistry. All data must be generated by statistically and analytically sound research, and all papers will be peer reviewed by at least two reviewers prior to being considered for publication. The Bulletin will give priority to the publication of original research that is undertaken on the systems and organisms of the Australasian and Asia-Pacific region, but papers will be accepted from anywhere in the world. As well as scientific papers, the Bulletin will contain short communications, to allow the publication of original data generated in small-scale projects, and letters to the Editor are most welcome. The Editor will commission and publish reviews from time to time. Authors interested in publishing review articles are invited to contact the Editors. Titles of completed PhD and MSc theses will also be published.

Volume 4 (2017)

Comparison of the proposed ecosystem protection guideline values for diuron in fresh and marine ecosystems with existing trigger and protective concentration values
ABEEC Volume 4, 2017, Pages 1-12
Olivia King and Michael St.J. Warne
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Currently, there are eight different sets of protective concentration values, trigger values and guideline values for ecosystem protection for diuron in Australian waters. Included among these are the guideline values that we are proposing for diuron in freshwaters and marine waters that were generated as part of the revision of the Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality. These proposed guideline values will be submitted for national endorsement and incorporation into the Guidelines and the Great Barrier Reef Water Quality Guidelines. The various sets of guideline values differ substantially from each other. This paper was prepared with three primary aims: 1) to examine the various sets of protective concentration values, current trigger values, and the proposed guideline values for freshwater and for marine waters; 2) to explain how the different values were derived; and 3) to explain the purpose of each set of values. This study provides a comprehensive evaluation of the various sets of ecosystem protection values for diuron, and presents arguments for why the proposed guideline values should be adopted and used in preference to existing trigger values or protective concentration values derived prior to 2017. Keywords: Guideline Value; Trigger Value; Australian and New Zealand Guidelines; Water quality

Volume 3 (2016)abeec_cover

Considering background ionic proportions in the development of sulfate guidelines for the Fitzroy River basin
ABEEC Volume 3, 2016, Pages 1-10
Jason E. Dunlop, Reinier M. Mann, Dustin Hobbs, Ross E.W. Smith, Vinitha Nanjappa, Suzanne Vardy and Sue Vink
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Sulfate (SO4 2-) is commonly associated with saline mine water discharges to aquatic ecosystems. Despite the prevalence of sulfate in mine water releases around the world, there is a paucity of sulfate toxicity data describing its potential impacts on aquatic species and a lack of ecosystem protection guideline values relevant to Australia. The aim of this study was to evaluate the toxicity of sulfate using a test water representative of natural waters. An outcome of this study was the development of aquatic ecosystem protection guideline values for Na2 SO4 using a test water and suite of test species relevant to the Fitzroy River basin in northeastern Australia where mine water releases are prevalent. Toxicity tests were undertaken on six species including a mayfly (Atalophlebia sp. AV 13), a ubiquitous freshwater alga (Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata), a plant (Lemna disperma), a zooplankton (Ceriodaphnia dubia), a fish (Melanotaenia splendida) and a shrimp (Paratya australiensis). Preliminary toxicant guidelines for sulfate (as Na2 SO4 ) estimated to be protective of 80%, 90%, 95% and 99% of species in the receiving ecosystem and their upper 95th and lower 5th percentile confidence intervals were 936 (731-1548), 706 (525-1242), 545 (380-1103) and 307 (161-866) mg/L SO4 2-, respectively, at a water hardness of 550 mg/L (as CaCO3 ). Results were comparable to guideline values developed using species relevant to North America. Keywords: Salinity; Sulfate; Coal mining; Water quality guidelines

Volume 2 (2015)abeec_cover

Assessing the toxicity of saline waters: The importance of accommodating surface water ionic composition at the river basin scale
ABEEC Volume 2, 2015, Pages 1-15
Jason E. Dunlop, Reinier M. Mann, Dustin Hobbs, Ross E.W. Smith, Vinitha Nanjappa, Suzanne Vardy and Sue Vink
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Salinity impacts in freshwater ecosystems are a concern in Australia and around the world. There is a need for greater understanding of the salinity tolerance thresholds of freshwater biota to support the derivation of water quality guidelines that form the basis of policy and regulation aimed at managing salinity impacts. The salinity of freshwater is a mixture of ions (including Na+, Ca2+, Mg2+, K+, SO42-, CO32-, HCO3-, and Cl-) that vary according to factors such as underlying geology and surface/ground water interactions. The composition and concentration of ions is known to affect toxicity making it important to account for such variation when designing toxicity tests used to define water quality guidelines. Test exposures using standard solutions such as marine salts may not be representative of many freshwaters, so may have limited applicability. This study defines a test exposure for salinity based on observed ionic composition at the river basin scale and evaluated the 96-h (acute) response of 10 macroinvertebrate families. It is proposed that such an approach may provide a useful means of defining test exposures for salinity where the aim is to define trigger values for the management of diffuse sources of salinity at a river basin scale.

Persistent organic pollutants in Australasian harriers (Circus approximans) from New Zealand
ABEEC Volume 2, 2015, Pages 16-34
Jo-Anne E. Cavanagh, Penny M. Fisher, Lynn H. Booth and Philip Bridgen
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Birds of prey are widely used internationally as bioindicators of environmental contamination of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). However, there is a dearth of information on POPs concentrations in New Zealand birds of prey. We assessed tissue concentrations of established and emerging POPs in Australasian harriers (Circus approximans) from the Canterbury Region of New Zealand. ΣDDTs comprised up to 98% of the POPs detected, with concentrations up to 200 μg/g lipid weight. Similar concentrations were measured approximately 35 years ago in harriers from the same region, and are among the highest reported internationally for raptors. DDE concentrations were above those anticipated to cause detrimental effects in other bird species. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were present at the next highest concentrations with up to 3060 ng/g lipid weight in harriers. Concentrations of PCBs, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzo-furans (PCDD/PCDFs) in harriers were at the lower end of the range of concentrations reported in international surveys of raptors, with our results including the first reported detection of PBDEs in New Zealand raptors. Keywords: Birds of prey; POPs; bioindicator; DDE; PBDE.

Booragoon Lake: Environmental implication of trace elements derived from road runoff stormwater in wetland sediments during wetting and drying cycles
ABEEC Volume 2, 2015, Pages 35-47
Donya Rajabian Tabesh, David W.G.T. Oldmeadow and Ronald T. Watkins
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Booragoon Lake is one of the shallow groundwater lakes that comprise the Beeliar Wetlands chain, a string of wetlands that sit in a north-south trending interdunal depression on the Swan Coastal Plain, in Perth, Western Australia. Situated on the southern boundary of the lake is Leach Highway, a major arterial road with traffic volumes of up to 60 000 vehicles per day. Stormwater runoff from Leach Highway is a major source of contamination in the lake environment. In this study we investigated changes in the concentrations of metals (Cr, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As and Pb) in lake water and sediments throughout a three-month period from February to April 2012, during which the lake dried out. Eleven sets of water samples were taken between February and April from Booragoon Lake and stormwater inputs, to assess the geochemical conditions of the lake, and the concentrations of metals derived from road stormwater runoff. Fourteen sediment samples were also collected from the dry lake bed to analyse for major and trace element concentrations. The results of the analyses showed that the concentration of metals in dry sediments was higher than that in wet sediment, most likely as a result of evaporative concentration and drying of metal enriched pore fluids during the drying cycle. Furthermore, these metals were shown to be readily soluble upon rewetting, presenting a danger of a first flush of metal-rich waters during heavy rainfall events. Keywords: Geochemistry; Anthropogenic contamination; Metal; Organic matter; Environmental monitoring.

Volume 1 (2014) abeec_cover

Are variations in ionic proportions important for the derivation of trigger values for saline mine discharge waters?
ABEEC Volume 1, 2014, Pages 1-11
Reinier M. Mann, Sue Vink, Tina Micevska, Dustin Hobbs and Ross E.W. Smith
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The discharge of saline waters that accumulate in mine pits following seasonal rain presents a toxicity testing challenge, because it is the salt profile of the water that is of concern for release to natural waterways. Recent studies designed to establish site specific electrical conductivity (EC) trigger values through the generation of species sensitivity distributions (SSD) have aimed to address this challenge. Two test waters representing coal-mine pit-water (AMW1 and AMW2) were formulated with chemical salts and differing in the proportions of various ions (Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+, K+, HCO3-, SO42-, Cl-). Similarly, diluent waters were formulated based on the salinity profile of receiving waters. The use of formulated waters permitted the comparison of salinity profiles representing different coal mining areas in Queensland on an equal footing, without the confounding effects of other contaminants that would be found in natural waters. However, the use of formulated waters presented some practical problems. On the one hand, consistent salinity profiles needed to be maintained across all tests, thereby providing reliable SSDs for deriving trigger values. On the other hand, artificial mine waters needed to be customised to each test species to ensure that the nutritional requirements of each species (Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata, Ceriodaphnia dubia, Melanotaenia splendida, Macrobrachium australiense, Chironomus tepperi) were not compromised. The data presented here demonstrate that for individual test-species, the toxicities of AMW1 and AMW2 were quite different, with AMW1 being more toxic than AMW2 in prawns and chironomids, and conversely, AMW2 more toxic than AMW1 in fishes and cladocerans. Overall, the TVs derived for the protection of 80% to 99% of species suggest that AMW1 was less toxic than AMW2. However, despite substantial differences in ionic composition, and despite individual differences in sensitivity among different test species, the opposing toxicity indices in individual test-species resulted in SSDs of similar shape and position when salinity was measured as electrical conductivity. Keywords: Coal-mine discharge; Direct Toxicity Assessment; Salinity trigger value; Species Sensitivity Distribution; Test standardisation.

Impact of salinity and ionic composition on freshwater macroinvertebrates in the Fitzroy River catchment, Central Queensland, Australia
ABEEC Volume 1, 2014, Pages 12-29
Rajesh Prasad, Sue Vink and Vinitha Nanjappa
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Disposal of high salinity water from coal mines in Queensland is a serious issue for coal mines. This is exacerbated during high rainfall events associated with La Niña conditions as excess water often accumulates in water storages. Release of excess water from mine sites to local streams and rivers is one of the most effective disposal options in order to avoid long term accumulation of saline water. However, if saline water is discharged into the streams and rivers, it is likely to impact the aquatic biota, aquatic ecosystems and ecosystem values. To minimise impacts from environmental releases, the coal industry and environmental regulatory authorities need information related to the potential impacts of salinity on the aquatic environment to help inform appropriate release criteria. In this study, macroinvertebrates from the Fitzroy River Catchment in Central Queensland, where many Queensland coal mines are situated, were tested for their sensitivity to saline waters. The primary aim was to derive LC50 values, for macroinvertebrates from the Fitzroy Catchment for mine waters of known ionic compositions, which could potentially be used to derive guidelines for mine salts. A second aim was to consider the levels of dilution that would be necessary to reduce salt concentration in mine water to levels tolerable by macroinvertebrates. Test solutions comprised of two artificial mine water types (AMW1 and AMW2), diluted with artificial creek water, all prepared in the laboratory. The results showed that Leptophlebiidae and Baetidae (Order: Ephemeroptera), were more sensitive (or less tolerant) to artificial mine water in comparison with their sensitivity/tolerance to marine salts. Although it was not possible to statistically test whether the difference in toxicity of the two mine waters was significant, it seemed that AMW2 was less toxic than AMW1. This is highly probable as AMW2 contained a much higher proportion of calcium compared to AMW1. The assays conducted agree with results from earlier studies that show that ionic composition can have ameliorating or confounding effects on the toxicity of saline waters. Further research on the ionic composition of coal mine effluent may provide solutions for management of effluent discharge. Keywords: Mine water; Salinity; Toxicity; Macroinvertebrate sensitivity; Ephemeroptera.