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The ecotoxic potential of seven Moselle river watershed sediments was assessed with a battery of bioassays comprised of rapid phototrophic [LuminoTox solid phase (L-SPA) and elutriate (L-ELU) assays] and bacterial [Microtox solid phase assay (M-SPA)] exposure tests, as well as with two micro-invertebrate solid phase tests conducted with Hydra attenuata (lethal and sublethal effects solid phase assay, HL-SPA and HSL-SPA) and Chironomus riparius. Measured effects of sediments and their elutriates were varied and reflected responses that were ecotoxicity test-, endpoint- and site-dependent, suggesting some degree of risk toward benthic and water column organisms, respectively, at specific sites. Correlation analysis demonstrated that L-SPA and M-SPA ecotoxicity responses were significantly linked with the Hydra HSL-SPA assay, indicating their ability to predict ecotoxicity towards an invertebrate taxonomic group representing secondary consumers. While the L-SPA and M-SPA assays hold promise as rapid screens for sediment ecotoxicity, correlation analysis with grain size (L-SPA: r=-0.795, P=0.033; M-SPA: r=-0.73, P=0.07) points out that their responses can be influenced by the presence of fines (i.e., sediment particles ≤0.063 mm in size) and that this information is essential to properly interpret ecotoxicity data generated with these assays. Finally, notable differences observed in trophic level sensitivities once again recall the importance of employing a test battery to adequately appraise the ecotoxicity of sediments.
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