The Effect of TBT on the Structure of a Marine Sediment Community - a Boxcosm Study
Journal article, 2001

The effect of tri-n-butyl tin (TBT) on an intact marine sediment community after five months exposure was investigated. Changes in the structure of macro- and meiofauna communities were determined, as well as the functional diversity of the microbial community using BIOLOG microplates for Gram negative bacteria. Development of tolerance in the microbial community was investigated using Pollution Induced Community Tolerance (PICT) experiments with fluxes of nutrients as effect indicators. TBT affected the structure and recruitment of the macro- and meiofauna at nominal additions of 30–137 mol TBT/m2 sediment. Number of species, diversity, biomass and community similarity was reduced at these concentrations compared to control. Species that molt seemed to be the most tolerant since they were predominant in boxes that had received the highest TBT addition and echinoderms were the most sensitive species. Renewed addition of TBT in PICT experiments with sediment from each boxcosm showed that TBT had an effect on individual nutrient fluxes from all sediments. Analyses of the flux patterns revealed a memory of previous TBT exposure, either due to induced tolerance or other community conditioning.


long-term exposure

community structure



Ingela Dahllöf

University of Gothenburg

Department of Analytical and Marine Chemistry

Stefan Agrenius

Hans Blanck

Per Hall

University of Gothenburg

Department of Analytical and Marine Chemistry

Kerstin Magnusson

Sverker Molander

Chalmers, COMESA, Environmental Systems Analysis

Marine Pollution Bulletin

0025-326X (ISSN)

Vol. 42 8 689-695

Subject Categories

Other Environmental Engineering





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