The acute and chronic toxicity of lanthanum to Daphnia carinata

Michael J. Barry*, Barry J. Meehan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Citations (Scopus)


The rare earth elements (REEs) are increasingly being used as trace supplements in agriculture. This study measured the acute and chronic toxicity of one REE, lanthanum (La), to Daphnia carinata. The 48-h EC50 of La to Daphnia was measured in three media of differing composition and hardness. Lanthanum was most toxic to Daphnia in soft tap water (TW) with an acute 48-h EC50 of 43 μg/l compared with 1180 μg/l in ASTM hard water (ASTM). In the third daphnid growth medium (DW), based on diluted sea water, the acute 48-h EC50 was 49 μg La/l, however, there was significant precipitation of La in this media. The chronic toxicity of La to Daphnia was measured in the DW and ASTM media. Nominal exposure concentrations were 100, 200, 400, 600, 800, and 1000 μg La/l. Mortality was a more sensitive end-point than growth or reproduction in both chronic experiments. Very little La was detected in either media after 24 h and the measured concentrations below were estimated by logarithmic mean of nominal and measured values. There was 100% mortality at concentrations ≥ 80 μg La/l (400 μg/l nominal) by day six of the experiment using DW media, but no effect on survival growth or reproduction at lower concentrations. In the ASTM media, La caused significant mortality to Daphnia at concentrations ≥ 39 μg/l (200 μg/l nominal), however, at least one animal survived to the end of the study at each of the tested concentrations. There was no effect of La on growth of surviving daphnids at concentrations ≤57 μg/l (400 g/l), however, second brood clutch sizes were significantly increased at 30, 39, and 57 μg/l (100, 200, 400 g/l nominal) compared with controls. Lanthanum also caused a delayed maturation in Daphnia. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1669-1674
Number of pages6
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Invertebrate
  • Life-history
  • Metal toxicity
  • Rare earth elements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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