Influences of macroalga-derived dissolved organic carbon on the aquatic toxicity of copper and cadmium

Martin T.K. Tsui, Wen Xiong Wang, Ming Hung WONG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, the effect of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) derived from macroalga (Sargassum) on the acute toxicity of copper (Cu) and cadmium (Cd) to a freshwater cladoceran (Daphnia magna) was investigated. Potassium-loaded macroalga was incubated with ultrapure water to extract macroalgal DOC, which was then spiked with the constituents of the Elendt M7 hard water media. The 48 h median lethal concentration of Cu increased linearly with DOC levels but that of Cd was relatively independent of DOC levels (0-44 mg l-1). The independence of Cd toxicity on DOC level might be due to the competitive effect of high calcium concentrations in the media with Cd for the binding sites of DOC. The decreased Cu toxicity was a result of reduced Cu uptake as evidenced in a separate accumulation test. Also, the capability of the macroalgal DOC on reducing Cu toxicity was found to be comparable to DOC tested in other studies. Therefore, the present study suggested that the biosorption treatment process using macroalgae should consider the effect of DOC release from the biomass as a step of modifying the metal toxicity as well as influencing metal biosorption capacity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1831-1835
Number of pages5
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

User-Defined Keywords

  • Daphnia magna
  • Dissolved organic carbon
  • Macroalga
  • Metal toxicity


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