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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Heavy Metals in the Environment

Accumulation, Distribution, and Toxicity of Copper in Sediments of Catfish Ponds Receiving Periodic Copper Sulfate Applications


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 30 No. 3, p. 912-919
    Received: Mar 13, 2000

    * Corresponding author(s): jhargreaves@CFR.MsState.Edu
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  1. F.X. Hana,
  2. John A. Hargreaves *b,
  3. William L. Kingerya,
  4. Duane B. Huggettc and
  5. Daniel K. Schlenkc
  1. a Dep. of Plant and Soil Sciences, Mississippi State Univ., Mississippi State, MS 39762
    b Dep. of Wildlife and Fisheries, Mississippi State Univ., Mississippi State, MS 39762
    c Dep. of Pharmacology, Univ. of Mississippi, University, MS 38677


Copper sulfate (CuSO4) is applied periodically to commercial channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) ponds as an algicide or parasiticide. Current understanding of the chemistry of copper in soil–water systems suggests that copper may accumulate in pond sediments, although the forms and potential bioavailability of copper in catfish pond sediments are not known. This study investigated the accumulation and distribution of copper in the sediment of catfish ponds receiving periodic additions of CuSO4 · 5H2O. All ponds were constructed in Sharkey (very-fine, smectitic, thermic Chromic Epiaquert) soil. Nine 0.40-ha ponds received 59 applications of 2.27 kg CuSO4 · 5H2O per application per pond over 3 yr; no CuSO4 · 5H2O applications were made to nine additional ponds. Total Cu concentration in the sediments of CuSO4 · 5H2O-amended catfish ponds (172.5 mg kg−1) was four to five times higher than that in the sediments of nonamended ponds (36.1 mg kg−1). Copper accumulated in catfish pond sediments at a rate of 41 μg kg−1 dry sediment for each 1 kg ha−1 of CuSO4 · 5H2O applied to ponds. Copper in the sediments of amended ponds was mainly in the organic matter–bound (30.7%), carbonate-bound (31.8%), and amorphous iron oxide–bound (22.1%) fractions with a considerable fraction (3.4%; 3 to 8 mg kg−1) in soluble and exchangeable fractions. This indicates that Cu accumulates differentially in various fractions, with proportionally greater initial accumulation in potentially bioavailable forms. However, toxicity bioassays with amphipods (Hyallela azteca) and common cattail (Typha latifolia L.) indicated that the effect of exposure to amended or nonamended pond sediments was not different.

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Copyright © 2001. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyPublished in J. Environ. Qual.30:912–919.