Environmental biology

Sensitivity of green and blue-green algae to methyl tert-butyl ether

CHEN Jianmeng , MA Jianyi , CAO Wei , WANG Pinwei , TONG Senmiao , SUN Yizhao


Received August 25, 2008,Revised December 10, 2008, Accepted , Available online

Volume 21,2009,Pages 514-519

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The toxicity of methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) to Chlorella ellipsoidea and Aphanizomenon flos-aquae was tested and assessed for a 15-d incubation with concentrations of MTBE from high (2.00 104 mg/L) to low (2 mg/L). The results showed that the toxicity was low when the concentration of MTBE was in the range 1.00 104–2.00 104 mg/L (the greatest inhibition of growth-rate was 70%–71%, occurred during the day 1–5). Low concentrations (2–500 mg/L) stimulated algal growth up to the greatest e ect of 85%–200% when the concentration of MTBE was 50–100 mg/L during day 3–5. The toxicity of MTBE (72–120 h EC50) was 6.65 103–9.58 103 mg/L for C. ellipsoidea and that is 1.14 104–2.00 104 mg/L for A. floc-aquae. We found that the toxicity and ecological risk of MTBE for the algal community structure were low and the toxicity was influenced by the duration time of the test.

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