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Water quality assessment of aquatic ecosystems using ecological criteria – case study in Bulgaria

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      Four aquatic ecosystems (two rivers and two dams) situated in the western part of Bulgaria were investigated over a three years’ period. The River Egulya and Petrohan dam are situated in mountainous regions at about 1000 m altitude, and are not influenced by any anthropogenic sources. Petrohan dam is a site for long-term ecosystem research as a part of Bulgarian long-term ecological research network. The other two systems belong to populated industrial areas. The River Martinovska flows through a region with former long-term mining activity, while Ogosta dam is near a battery production factory. Both the geochemical and geographical ecosystems’ conditions are different, and their social usage as well. Ogosta dam water is used for irrigation and Petrohan dam for electric supply. The ecosystem sensitivity to heavy metals was evaluated by a critical load approach. Two criteria were used for risk assessment: critical load exceedance and microbial toxicity test. All studied ecosystems were more sensitive to cadmium than to lead deposition. The potential risk of Cd damage is higher for Petrohan dam and the River Egulya, where critical load exceedance was calculated for two years. Pseudomonas putida growth inhibition test detected a lack of toxicity for all studied ecosystems at the time of investigation with the exception of the low water September sample of the River Martinovska. The fast bacterial test is very suitable for a regular measurement of water toxicity because of its simplicity, lack of sophisticated equipment and clear results.

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      Most cited references 26

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      Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality

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        Toxicity of Ag, CuO and ZnO nanoparticles to selected environmentally relevant test organisms and mammalian cells in vitro: a critical review

        Nanoparticles (NPs) of copper oxide (CuO), zinc oxide (ZnO) and especially nanosilver are intentionally used to fight the undesirable growth of bacteria, fungi and algae. Release of these NPs from consumer and household products into waste streams and further into the environment may, however, pose threat to the ‘non-target’ organisms, such as natural microbes and aquatic organisms. This review summarizes the recent research on (eco)toxicity of silver (Ag), CuO and ZnO NPs. Organism-wise it focuses on key test species used for the analysis of ecotoxicological hazard. For comparison, the toxic effects of studied NPs toward mammalian cells in vitro were addressed. Altogether 317 L(E)C50 or minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC) values were obtained for algae, crustaceans, fish, bacteria, yeast, nematodes, protozoa and mammalian cell lines. As a rule, crustaceans, algae and fish proved most sensitive to the studied NPs. The median L(E)C50 values of Ag NPs, CuO NPs and ZnO NPs (mg/L) were 0.01, 2.1 and 2.3 for crustaceans; 0.36, 2.8 and 0.08 for algae; and 1.36, 100 and 3.0 for fish, respectively. Surprisingly, the NPs were less toxic to bacteria than to aquatic organisms: the median MIC values for bacteria were 7.1, 200 and 500 mg/L for Ag, CuO and ZnO NPs, respectively. In comparison, the respective median L(E)C50 values for mammalian cells were 11.3, 25 and 43 mg/L. Thus, the toxic range of all the three metal-containing NPs to target- and non-target organisms overlaps, indicating that the leaching of biocidal NPs from consumer products should be addressed. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00204-013-1079-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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          Critical Loads for Sulphur and Nitrogen


            Author and article information

            [ a ]Department of Plant Pathology and Chemistry, Faculty of Ecology and Landscape Architecture, University of Forestry , Sofia, Bulgaria
            [ b ]Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Biology, Sofia University “St Kliment Ohridski” , Sofia, Bulgaria
            Author notes
            [* ]Corresponding author. Email: sonya_damyanova@
            Biotechnol Biotechnol Equip
            Biotechnol. Biotechnol. Equip
            Biotechnology, Biotechnological Equipment
            Taylor & Francis
            2 November 2014
            4 November 2014
            : 28
            : 6
            : 1050-1056
            © 2014 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis.

            This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The moral rights of the named author(s) have been asserted.

            Figures: 5, Tables: 2, References: 11, Pages: 7
            This research was funded by the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Culture [Grant ВУ-НЗ-01/05] and was carried out as a part of the LTER network.
            Article; Agriculture and Environmental Biotechnology


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