The behavioral responses of guppy Poecilia reticulata (Poeciliidae) and prawn Macrobrachium lanchesteri (Palaemonidae) individuals exposed to acid mine drainage (AMD) were monitored online in the laboratory with a Multispecies Freshwater Biomonitor™ (MFB). These responses were compared to those to reference water acidified to the respective pH values (ACID). Test animals in the juvenile stage were used for both species and were exposed to AMD and ACID for 24 hours. The stress behaviors of both test animals consisted mainly of decreased activity in AMD and increased activity in ACID, indicating that the metals in the AMD played a role as a stress factor in addition to pH. The locomotor activity levels of guppies and prawns for the ACID treatment were higher than the locomotor activity levels for the AMD treatment with increasing pH value. For guppies, significant differences were observed when specimens were exposed to AMD and ACID at pH 5.0 and 6.0; the percentage activities were only 16% and 12%, respectively, for AMD treatment, whereas for ACID treatment, the percentage activities were 35% and 40%, respectively, similar to the value of 36% for the controls. Similar trends were also observed for prawns, for which the percentage activities were only 6% and 4%, respectively, for AMD treatment, whereas for ACID treatment, the percentage activities were 31% and 38%, respectively, compared to 44% in the controls. This study showed that both species are suitable for use as indicators for ecotoxicity testing with the MFB.
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