Biogeochemical controls on the speciation and aquatic toxicity of vanadium and other metals in sediments from a river reservoir

Sara M. Nedrich, Anthony Chappaz, Michelle L. Hudson, Steven S. Brown, G. Allen Burton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Effects of hydrologic variability on reservoir biogeochemistry are relatively unknown, particularly for less studied metals like vanadium (V). Further, few studies have investigated the fate and effects of sediment-associated V to aquatic organisms in hydrologically variable systems. Our primary objective was to assess effects of hydrologic manipulation on speciation and toxicity of V (range: 635 to 1620 mg kg− 1) and other metals to Hyalella azteca and Daphnia magna. Sediments were collected from a reservoir located in a former mining area and microcosm experiments were conducted to emulate 7-day drying and inundation periods. Despite high sediment concentrations, V bioavailability remained low with no significant effects to organism survival, growth, or reproduction. The lack of V toxicity was attributed to reduced speciation (III, IV), non-labile complexation, and sorption to Al/Fe/Mn-oxyhydroxides. Zinc (Zn) increased in surface and porewater with inundation, for some sediments exceeding the U.S. EPA threshold for chronic toxicity. While no effects of Zn to organism survival or growth were observed, Zn body concentrations were negatively correlated with H. azteca growth. Results from this study indicate that V bioavailability and environmental risk is dependent on V-speciation, and V is less influenced by hydrologic variability than more labile metals such as Zn.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-320
Number of pages8
JournalScience of the Total Environment
StatePublished - Jan 15 2018


  • Bioavailability
  • Sediment metal toxicity
  • Vanadium speciation
  • Vanadium toxicity
  • Zinc release


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