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International Journal of Zoology
Volume 2011, Article ID 574536, 7 pages
Research Article

GamTox: A Low-Cost Multimetric Ecotoxicity Test with Gammarus spp. for In and Ex Situ Application

LimCo International GmbH, Technologiezentrum Konstanz, Blarerstraße 56, 78462 Konstanz, Germany

Received 4 February 2011; Accepted 9 April 2011

Academic Editor: Michelle Bloor

Copyright © 2011 Almut Gerhardt. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Gammarus spp. represent an important taxon in running water ecosystems concerning both structural and functional aspects. Gammarus spp. are also part of several macrozoobenthos indices for assessing biological water quality. However, in ecotoxicological water quality assessment, this taxon has been used much less than Daphnia spp. A new user-friendly and low-cost test protocol for Gammarus spp. has been developed, constituting the “ecotoxicological module ”of an integrated multimetric triad-based concept for water quality assessment. The GamTox test is based on several test parameters: behavior (especially locomotion and feeding) depicts rapid and sensitive early warning indicators, survival displays an indicator of severe acute stress, and biochemical biomarkers, esp. AChE inhibition, is a sensitive marker of neurotoxic xenobiotic stress. GamTox can be performed both in situ and ex situ, based either on visual or automatical recording.