Variations between winter and summer in the toxicity of copper to a population of the mysid Praunus flexuosus
Copper toxicity was tested on a coastal population of the mysid Praunus flexuosus (Müller) from Southampton Water (Southern England) under winter and summer conditions. Ten-day toxicity tests were performed on the different life-cycle stages (female, male and juvenile) present in winter (December/February) and summer (August). The individuals were in winter or summer physiological condition and were exposed to seawater to which 0, 5, 25, 75 and 200 μg l−1 copper was added. There were significantly different copper toxicity effects in winter and summer. In winter mortality was ≤ 1% at all levels of copper exposure, while in summer identical exposure levels caused mortality of up to 93%. The 96 h LC50 was 30.8 μg l−1 copper added in the summer. In winter, the low mortality prevented calculation of LC50. There were differences in responses to copper between the life-cycle stages. Juveniles were more sensitive than adults, and were severely affected within 24 h. Females were more affected than males at lower doses and shorter exposure times.