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Water Environment Research

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Trace metal contamination is a widespread issue due to its many natural and anthropogenic sources and known carcinogenic, teratogenic, and reproductive effects. As previous invertebrate trace metal research has primarily focused on model species (Daphnia magna, Chironomidae, etc.), our understanding of effects on non-model invertebrate species remains relatively poor. As such, this study assessed the exposure effects of cadmium, arsenic, and lead on viability, locomotor behavior, and embryonic development of the Seminole ramshorn snail (Planorbella duryi). Exposure treatments of CdCl2, Na2HAsO4 • 7H2O, or Pb (NO3)2 were prepared at concentrations of 0, 0.01, 0.1, 1, and 10 mg/L and confirmed using inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES). Individual adult P. duryi were exposed for 7 days with viability assessed every 24 h, and locomotor behavior was accessed on Days 1 and 7 using ToxTrac v2.97 automated behavior software. Individual embryos from newly laid (<6 h old) embryonic clutches were exposed for 10 days, during which embryonic development stage was documented every 24 h. Based on our results, an additional follow-up study for cadmium was conducted using a lower range of 0–0.1 mg/L to allow for the observation of sub-lethal endpoints. Adult lead and cadmium exposure resulted in significant mortality in the highest treatments (1 and 10 mg/L), dose-dependent behavioral effects, and delayed embryonic development. Arsenic exposures resulted in little to no impacts for all assessed endpoints. Our results provide new insight into the sub-lethal impacts of these contaminants and highlight potential for behavior and embryonic development as useful tools for risk assessment.


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This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution - Non-Commercial - NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made,

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