Lethal and sub-lethal responses of the biogenic reef forming polychaete Sabellaria alveolata to aqueous chlorine and temperature

K. S. Last, V. J. Hendrick, C. M. Beveridge, D. A. Roberts, T. A. Wilding

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Sabellaria alveolata, a reef-forming marine polychaete, was exposed to aqueous chlorine which is routinely used as an anti-fouling agent in power station cooling water. Worms were treated to a range of chlorination levels (0, 0.02, 0.1 and 0.5 mg l−1 Total Residual Oxidant referred to as control, low, intermediate and high TRO) at mean and maximum summer temperatures (18 and 23 °C respectively). Overall mortality was relatively low, however a combination of high temperature and intermediate and high TRO resulted in a significant increase in mortality compared to the control and low TRO treatments. In contrast the extension of dwelling tubes was reduced at high TRO, but increased at low and intermediate TRO levels relative to the controls independent of temperature. Finally, tube strength was found to decrease with increasing TRO, again independent of temperature. On the basis of these findings, S. alveolata can be considered tolerant of one month exposures to low TRO at water temperatures up to and including the summer maxima for southern UK waters. However, at higher TRO levels and during warm weather, high mortality would be predicted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-53
Number of pages9
JournalMarine Environmental Research
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016


  • Aqueous chlorine
  • Biogenic reef
  • Discharge effluent
  • Ecosystem engineer
  • Sabellaria alveolata

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