Kravitz, M. J., J.O. Lamberson, Steven P. Ferraro, R.C. Swartz, Bruce L. Boese and David T. Specht. 1999. Avoidance response of the estuarine amphipod Eohaustorius estuarius to PAH-contaminated field-collected sediments. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 18:(6)1232-1235.
Amphipods (Eohustorius estuarius) were placed in two-chamber containers with different combinations of three contaminated sediments and a control sediment, and their distribution was determined after 2 or 3 d. Amphipods avoided the sediment with the highest PAH contamination and one of the two sediments with moderate PAH concentrations. In the moderately contaminated sediment avoided by amphipods, the (avoidance) response was more sensitive than mortality as a biological indicator of unacceptable sediment contamination (over the 2-3-d exposure). The avoidance response in this case likely represents an early indication of potential mortality from sediment exposure. Population levels of amphipods in moderately to heavily PAH-contaminated sediments may be influenced by a combination of avoidance behavior and toxicity/lethality.