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Magnesium (Mg) is a common contaminant in mine water discharges. Although Mg is an essential element in biological processes, increased concentrations from anthropogenic sources can stress aquatic ecosystems. Additionally, studies evaluating the effects of Mg on north Australian freshwater species have indicated that in very soft waters there is a high risk to some species. Freshwater mussels are an ecologically and culturally important taxon in many freshwater environments, but knowledge of their sensitivity to Mg is limited. In the present study, the acute and chronic sensitivity of two freshwater mussel species, Velesunio angasi and an undescribed Velesunio species, to Mg was assessed (using MgSO) on their early life stages, larval glochidia and post-parasitic juveniles. Acute 24-h exposures with glochidia generated a mean median lethal (LC50) toxicity estimate of 284mg/L for the five tests with V. angasi, and a mean LC50 of 300mg/L for the three tests with Velesunio sp. Mean chronic 14-d toxicity estimates resulting in 50% (EC50) and 10% (EC10) growth rate reductions for juveniles were 241 and 88mg/L respectively for the three tests with V. angasi juveniles, and 232 and 87mg/L respectively for the three tests with Velesunio sp. juveniles. The results represent the first acute and chronic Mg toxicity data for tropical freshwater mussels, and indicated that V. angasi and Velesunio sp. exhibited similar sensitivity and were moderately sensitive to Mg when compared to other tropical species. These results are a valuable contribution to the small existing dataset for Mg toxicity to tropical freshwater species, which can be used to inform water management in areas where Mg is a contaminant of concern, and ensure the protection of these taxa.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Ecotoxicology and environmental safety
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