Seung Oh Chua,1, Changkeun Leea,1, Junsung Noha, Sung Joon Songa, Seongjin Hongb, Jongseong Ryuc, Jung-Suk Leed, Jungho Name, Bong-Oh Kwonf,*, Jong Seong Khima,*
aSchool of Earth and Environmental Sciences & Research Institute of Oceanography, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
bDepartment of Ocean Environmental Sciences, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Republic of Korea
cDepartment of Marine Biotechnology, Anyang University, Ganghwa-gun, Incheon, Republic of Korea
dNeo Environmental Business Co. (NeoEnBiz), Bucheon 14523, Republic of Korea
eKorea Maritime Institute, Busan 49111, Republic of Korea
fDepartment of Marine Biotechnology, Kunsan National University, Kunsan 54150, Republic of Korea
1These authors contributed equally to this work.
The potential ecological impacts of elevated suspended sediments (SS) in coastal areas due to human activities remain unclear. In particular, physiological response of benthic fish to SS exposure in polluted environment has not been documented. We determined sub-lethal toxicity of polluted and non-polluted SS to olive flounder. Test organism was exposed to varying concentrations of SS (0–4000 mg L−1) and real-time oxygen consumption rate (OCR) was measured for 12 h. The early-juvenile was sensitive to SS, particularly at >500 mg L−1, but late-juvenile was tolerant up to 4000 mg SS L−1. Metal polluted SS (HQmetal > 1) increased OCR in general, particularly at >1000 SS mg L−1. Combined effect of copper and SS exposure on fish was either synergistic or antagonistic. Overall, potential adverse effect of polluted SS on fish greatly varied at different life stage and/or by metal pollution gradients.