The native freshwater gastropod Isidorella newcombi attacks the roots of developing rice plants in southern Australia and is controlled using copper sulphate. The apparent tolerance of this species to moderate levels of copper (Cu) exposure led us to investigate its potential usefulness as a biomonitor species. To assess its response to chronic Cu exposure, adult I. newcombi were exposed to 0–120 µg L−1 of Cu for 28 days. Lethal and sublethal responses were investigated. The relationships between subcellular biomarkers and life history traits also were explored. At exposure concentrations of 60 µg L−1 Cu and above, 100% mortality was observed during the 28-day exposure period. In these treatments, there was an exposure concentration dependent decrease in the time that the snails survived. In the surviving snails, there was an exposure concentration-dependent increase in tissue Cu concentration. In the snails exposed to Cu concentrations above 15 µg L−1, no eggs were produced during the final week of copper exposure, indicating that populations would not persist at Cu concentrations above 15 µg L−1. The general stress biomarker lysosomal membrane destabilisation (LD) indicated organisms exposed to 10 µg L−1 Cu and above were experiencing Cu induced stress. This suggests that LD could act as an early warning system for responses at higher levels of biological organisation in I. newcombi exposed to copper.
|Number of pages
|Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
|E-pub ahead of print - 22 Oct 2020