Humic substances of varying types increase survivorship of the freshwater shrimp Caridina sp. D to acid mine drainage
Differences relating to the ability of various types of humic substances (HS) to influence toxicity of pollutants have been reported in the literature, but there still remains a gap in understanding whether various HS will have the same influence on the toxicity of acid mine drainage (AMD). This study investigated differences in the ability of Aldrich humic acid (AHA), Suwannee River humic acid and Suwannee River fulvic acid to decrease toxicity of AMD to the freshwater shrimp (Caridina sp. D). Toxicity tests were conducted over 96 h and used Mount Morgan open pit water as source of AMD and Dee River water as control/diluents. Concentrations of 0-4% AMD at 0 mg/L HS, 10 mg/L AHA, 10 mg/L Suwannee River humic acid and 10 mg/L Suwannee River fulvic acid were used. Significantly higher survival of shrimp was recorded in the HS treatments compared with the treatment containing no HS. No significant differences were found among HS type. HS considerably increased LC50 values irrespective of type, from 1.29 (0 mg/L HS) to 2.12% (AHA); 2.19 (Suwannee River humic acid) and 2.22% (Suwannee River fulvic acid). These results support previous work that HS decrease the toxicity of AMD to freshwater organisms, but with the novel finding that this ability occurs irrespective of HS type. These results increase the stock of knowledge regarding HS and may contribute to a possible remediation option for AMD environments.