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Frequently asked questions, part 2. [About the book: S.A.Ostroumov. Biological
Effects of Surfactants. CRC Press, Taylor &Francis]:

A book was published on some contemporary issues of ecology, pollution of aquatic
environment, and man-made impact of a relatively poorly studied group of chemical
pollutants, detergents. The book was entitled: ‘Biological Effects of Surfactants’.
Some more detail about the book see at:

The first series of frequently asked questions (FAQ) was answered in another post.


In addition to those questions, some other questions (FAQ, part 2) are answered
here. In answering these new questions, the following materials were used (some
relevant publications, they are available online free):;

****** Question: Are the comments and answers to the first series of FAQ available
in other languages, in addition to English?

Answer: Yes, the comments (the answers to the first series of FAQ) are available in
the following languages:







****** Question: which new aspects of environmental hazards from chemicals were
identified in the book and other concomitant publications of the same author
(Dr.S.A. Ostroumov)?

Answer: Several new types of environmental hazards from chemical pollution were
identified in the book and in some other publications of the same author. One of
those hazards is a risk of damage to natural processes of ecological remediation.
Those processes lead to water self-purification in natural aquatic ecosystems (both
freshwater and marine aquatic ecosystems). We published a special paper that is
focused on this issue. See:

Ostroumov S.A. Identification of a new type of ecological hazard of chemicals:
inhibition of processes of ecological remediation. Doklady Biological Sciences. 2002.
385: 377-379. In Eng.; ISSN 0012-4966. DOI 10.1023/A:1019929305267;

Full text:;

Key words: Identification, new type, ecological, hazard, chemicals, inhibition,
ecological remediation,

****** Question. Using chemicals that act as inhibitors of activities of enzymes was
very productive in biochemistry. Is it possible to use chemicals that inhibit functions
of organisms in ecosystems in order to get more information on ecological

Answer: yes, it is possible, and it was shown both in the book and in a special paper
of the same author. The function inhibited was water filtration by freshwater and
marine bivalves. The chemicals that inhibited this function were surfactants and
detergents. See the paper:

** Inhibitory analysis of regulatory interactions in trophic webs.- Doklady Biological
Sciences, 2001, Vol. 377, p. 139–141. (Translated from Doklady Akademii Nauk,
2000, Vol. 375, No. 6, p. 847–849).

Full text:;

ABSTRACT: In the paper, the author proposed a new approach to analyze the key
ecological issue, the interactions between organisms in ecosystems. The new
methodology proposed is inhibitory analysis. The author applied this approach to
analyze trophic chains: the top–down control of plankton by benthic filter-feeders.
This control, as the author’s experiments have shown, might be removed by
chemical inhibitors (the latter may enter the ecosystem as pollutants). As an
example, the author gives the results of his experiments on how surfactants
[tetradecyltrimethylammonium bromide (TDTMA)], and synthetic detergents
inhibited the control of plankton (algae Monochrystis lutheri) by marine mussels
Mytilus galloprovincialis. The method was successfully applied to innovatively
analyze the factors that are among reasons of eutrophication. Among new facts: the
cationic surfactant TDTMA 1 mg/L inhibited the filtration rate of juveniles of marine
bivalves Mytilus galloprovincialis, and the removal of cells of the algae Monochrysis
lutheri from water (50 min, 26˚C)]. DOI 10.1023/A:1019218026198;;; Keywords: Inhibitory,
analysis, regulatory, interactions, trophic, webs, tetradecyltrimethylammonium
bromide, TDTMA, , synthetic, detergents, control, of, plankton, by, mussels, Mytilus,
galloprovincialis., eutrophication., cationic, surfactant, inhibited, filtration, rate,
juveniles, marine, bivalves, Mytilus, galloprovincialis,, removal, cells, algae,
Monochrysis, lutheri, water,

****** Question: in the book, the author discovered that detergents and surfactants
inhibit the feeding activity of bivalves. This in turn leads to inhibition of the
production of pellets by bivaqlves. In turn, it leads to inhibition of biogeochemical
flows of chemical elements that are present in the pellets. Is something analogous
found with other types of mollusks, say, gastropod mollusks?

Answer: yes, the same author did found some analogous response with gastropod
mollusks, namely the mollusk Lymnaea stagnalis. It was analyzed both in the book
and in the paper:

** Pellets of some mollusks in the biogeochemical flows of C, N, P, Si, and Al. —
Doklady Biological Sciences, 2001. Vol. 379, P. 378-381. Bibliogr. 12 refs. [In
collaboration: S.A.Ostroumov, Kolesnikov M.P.] (Translated from: DAN 2001. Vol.
379. No. 3. P. 426-429). ISSN 0012-4966. Distributed by Springer, DOI 10.1023/A:1011620817764;

Full text is available free online on the sites:;;

ABSTRACT: New data on coupling of geochemical and ecological (hydrobiological)
processes. The role of freshwater mollusks Lymnaea stagnalis in the flows of
chemical elements in the biosphere was studied by detecting the elemental
composition and amount of pellets produced by the mollusks. For the first time, the
following was quantitatively studied: the elemental composition (C, N, P, Si, Al) of
pellets formed by mollusks Lymnaea stagnalis feeding on the leaves of higher
plants Nuphar lutea and Taraxacum officinale; the amount (wet weight, dry weight)
of pellets formed by L. stagnalis feeding on the leaves of N. lutea and T. officinale;
the transfer of matter and chemical elements (C, N, P, Si, Al) with pellets of
freshwater bivalves (unionids Unio sp., etc.) per unit biomass of mollusks and per
unit area of the ecosystem of the river; the transfer of matter and chemical
elements (C, N, P, Si, Al) with pellets of L. stagnalis per unit biomass of mollusks and
per unit area of the ecosystem of the pond. Synthetic surfactants ТDТМА 2 mg/l,
SDS 1-2 mg/l, detergent Tide-Lemon 75 mg/l inhibited the trophic activity of L.
stagnalis. Percents of food assimilability of taxons of invertebrates, from Rotatoria
(48-80) to Diptera (1-31)]. DOI 10.1023/A:1011620817764.
Keywords: Pellets, biogeochemical, flows, C, N, P, Si, Al, chemical elements, carbon,
nitrogen, phosphorus, silicon, aluminum, Doklady Biological Sciences,

****** Question. Given the fact that you studied mollusks and presented lots of new
information about how useful they are in your book, can you offer some new things
on how to protect the populations of mollusks from decline and extinction?

Answer: Yes, the new steps towards protecting populations of mollusks were
suggested by the author of the book in a special paper:

** System of principles for protecting the biogeocenotic function and biodiversity of
filter-feeders. — DAN. 2002. V. 383. No. 5. P. 710-714. Full text:;

Bibliogr.15 refs. In Russ., translated into English: System of principles for
conservation of the biogeocenotic function and the biodiversity of filter-feeders.-
Doklady Biological Sciences. 2002 (March). Vol. 383: 147-150. Bibliogr.15 refs. ISSN
0012-4966 (Print) 1608-3105 (Online). Distributed by Springer, orderdept@springer-

ABSTRACT: As a result of the author’s studies of filter-feeders (Doklady Biological
Sciences = DAN, 1998, Vol. 362, P. 574-576; DAN, 2001, Vol. 378, P. 283-285), it is
clear that the filtering activity of populations of filter-feeders in natural habitats
might be significantly reduced if the concentrations of some pollutants reach certain
levels. The role of filter-feeders as factors of water purification in ecosystems is so
important that their inhibition is a danger for the entire ecosystem. The author
emphasizes that not only the biodiversity of filter-feeders but also their level of
functional (filtration) activity is to be protected. In order to do so, the author
suggested establishing a new type of protected areas whose main purpose is to
protect functionally active populations of filter-feeders, including bivalves and other
organisms. Those protected areas could be named hydrobiological (some variants:
biofiltering, or malacological) reserves (some variants: refuges, sanctuaries, etc.).
The author formulated 5 principles of nature conservation requirements in
malacological and hydrobiological reserves (Tabl. 3). Among them is principle 2,
"conservation of filtration activity of organisms and populations". The paper
contains data on how 5 detergents (1-50 mg/L) inhibited the filtration activity of
Unio tumidus, Mytilus galloprovincialis, Crassostrea gigas (Tabl. 2); on effects on the
efficiency of elimination (EEE) of suspended matter from water were measured
(Tabl. 2); on the number of days (0.3 – 10) needed to filter the volume of aquatic
(freshwater and marine) ecosystem by the local bivalves (a review of data from
literature) (Tabl. 1). "I suggest that the existing system of protected terrestrial and
water areas should be supplemented with special sites intended to conserve
populations of filter-feeders. In addition to biodiversity conservation, these
populations should be conserved because they fulfill a very important biogeocenotic
function of water filtration and purification" (p.149). "The system of five principles…
is proposed to provide an ecological basis of the environment conservation
conditions at these sites (malacological and hydrobiological reserves)" (p.149).].
DOI 10.1023/A:1015398125876;;

Full text:;

keywords: 5 detergents, inhibited, filtration, activity, Unio, tumidus,, Mytilus,
galloprovincialis, Crassostrea, gigas, malacological, hydrobiological, reserve

****** Question: Did you publish other articles to further support your point on
ecological hazards from synthetic detergents?

Answer. Yes, I published several relevant papers. One of them is below:

** A new type of effect of potentially hazardous substances: uncouplers of pelagial–
benthal coupling. - Doklady Biological Sciences. 2002 (March). Vol. 383 (1-6): 127-

Bibliogr.15. ISSN 0012-4966.

Full text:;

ABSTRACT:. In the paper, a new discovery is reported of a new type of negative
impact of pollutants on the biosphere, as a result of inhibition of water filtration by
filter-feeders / suspension feeders. The water filtration and associated removal of
suspended matter from water is part of migration of matter. As V.I. Vernadsky
stressed, organisms are the mediators of “biogenic migration of atoms in the
biosphere”. This migration is partly implemented in the framework of pelagial–
benthal coupling via the activity of filter-feeders, which remove the organic
suspended matter from water and excrete pellets. The tables contains the following
data: the average percentage of assimilated (16-90%) and non-assimilated (10-
84%) food matter for 15 large taxa of invertebrates (Table 1); potassium
bichromate inhibited water filtration by mussels Mytilus galloprovincialis (Table 2);
surfactants, detergents, pesticides inhibited filtration by filter-feeders, marine and
freshwater bivalves and rotifers (Table 3). A prediction was made: "Further research
and experimental studies are expected to provide new evidence that sublethal
concentrations of chemical pollutants induce a significant decrease in the filtration
capacity of freshwater and marine filter feeders" (p.129). "The uncoupling process
considered above is an anthropogenic violation of two basic laws (empirical rules or
biogeochemical principles) of the biosphere functioning: (1) biogenic migration of
atoms of chemical elements in the biosphere always tends toward its maximum
expression; (2) on the geological time scale, the evolution of species gives rise to
the forms of life that are stable in the biosphere, and is so directed that the biogenic
migration of atoms in the biosphere increases" (p.129).];

Full text:;
** Some aspects of water filtering activity of filter-feeders // Hydrobiologia. 2005.
Vol. 542, No. 1. P. 275 – 286 (in Eng.). Bibliogr. 63 refs. DOI 10.1007/s10750-004-

Full text:;

Some comments on the contents of that paper: ISSN 0018-8158 (Print) 1573-5117
(Online). Table 1. Examples of the impact of filter-feeders on the water column:
clearance time. Table 2. Examples of diversity of taxons of benthic organisms
involved in removing seston from water, and filtration rates. Table 3. Effect of the
increase in concentration of algae on the filtration rate and the amount consumed
by rotifers Brachionus calyciflorus. Table 4. The ratio F:P in some groups of
organisms (examples of "ecological taxation"). Table 5. The ratio F: (P+R) in some
filter feeders. Table 6. Results of the ecological tax: biosediment formation in 6
ecosystems. Table 7. Contribution of various aquatic organisms to oxidation of
organic matter in the ecosystem of the Sea of Okhotsk. Table 8. Some chemicals
that inhibit the filtering activity of the filter-feeders (new data of the author). Table
9. Some features of water-filtering biomachinery: 6 fundamental principles. Table
10. The level-block approach to the analysis of ecological hazards of anthropogenic
effects on the biota (the new conceptualization proposed by the author). Some
fundamental principles that characterize the pivotal roles of the biodiversity of
filter-feeders in ecosystems. Among those roles are: (1) the role of ecological repair
of water quality, (2) the role of contributing to reliability and stability of the
functioning of the ecosystem, (3) the role of contributing to creation of habitat
heterogeneity, (4) the role of contributing to acceleration of migration of chemical
elements. It is an important feature of the biomachinery of filter-feeders that it
removes from water various particles of a very broad range of sizes. Another
important principle is that the amount of the organic matter filtered out of water is
larger than the amount assimilated so that a significant part of the removed
material serves no useful function to the organism of the filter-feeder, but serves a
beneficial function to some other species and to the ecosystem as a whole. The new
experiments by the author additionally demonstrated a vulnerability of the filtration
activity of filter feeders (e.g. bivalves and rotifers) to some xenobiotics
(tetradecyltrymethylammonium bromide, heavy metals and some others). The
inhibition of the filtration activity of filter-feeders may lead to the situation
previously described as that of an ecological impairment of the second type. DOI

****** Question: In the book, you have studied organisms that filter water. Among
them, you studied the organisms that live at the bottom of lakes, streams and seas.
Did you study some other organisms, which live in the water column?

Answer: yes, we studied those organisms. We studied zooplankton. We made
experiments with representatives of the two major groups of zooplankton. Those
groups are rotifers (Rotifera) and crustaceans (Cladocera). A typical crustacean
species of zooplankton is Daphnia magna. Recently, we did some successful
experiments with Daphnia magna. The results of those new experiments were in
accord with the results of our previous experiments with mollusks. The new
experiments with Daphnia magna are reported by us in the paper (see below):-

** Vorozhun I. M., S. A. Ostroumov. On studying the hazards of pollution of the
biosphere: effects of sodium dodecylsulfate (SDS) on planktonic filter-feeders. -
Doklady Biological Sciences, 2009, Vol. 425, pp. 133–134. Tables. Bibliogr. 15 refs.; [ISSN 0012-4966. DOI:

Full text:;

****** Question: You identified some new problems, some new hazards from
chemical pollutants. Can you offer some solutions to those problems?

Answer: I am very happy to answer that we really can offer some solutions. We
explored some aquatic vegetation - some species of aquatic plants. Those species
of aquatic plants are our hope. Those aquatic plants can be used as the basis of
innovative technology to make water clean. This innovative technology is called
phytotechnology, or phytoremediation. We recently published a series of papers on
phytoremediation. This work was done together with a graduate student, Elena
Solomonova. An example of a paper that we published with her is given below:

**E. A. Solomonova and S. A. Ostroumov. Tolerance of an Aquatic Macrophyte
Potamogeton crispus Sodium Dodecyl Sulphate. Moscow University Biological
Sciences Bulletin, 2007, Vol. 62, No. 4, p. 176–179.

DOI: 10.3103/S0096392507040074;

Full text:;

Abstract: Macrophytes are important components of ecosystems and participate in
the purification of water, which contributes to the sustainability of water quality.
This is especially important in conditions of pollution of water bodies and water
streams. Surfactants constitute an important class of pollutants. Therefore, further
investigation and clarification of the facts concerning the interaction of plants and
various surfactants are necessary. The present paper presents the results of
investigations of the effect of various concentrations of aqueous solutions of the
anionic surfactant sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS) on the viability of the aquatic
macrophytes, the pondweed Potamogeton crispus L. When the effects of the anionic
surfactant sodium dodecyl sulphate on the aquatic macrophytes Potamogeton
crispus L. were studied, it was found that the concentrations of 83–133 mg/l caused
fragmentation of the stems of plants. The tolerance of the plants to the negative
effects of the surfactant was higher in the spring (April) than in the autumn
(September). DOI:10.3103/S0096392507040074;

Moscow University Biological Sciences Bulletin, 2007, Vol. 62, No. 4, p. 176–179.
ISSN 0096-3925, © Allerton Press, Inc., 2007. Available at SpringerLink;
Original Russian Text © E.A. Solomonova, S.A. Ostroumov, 2007, published in
Vestnik Moskovskogo Universiteta. Biologiya, 2007, No. 4, pp. 39–42.

Keywords: effects, surfactant, aquatic, macrophytes, Potamogeton, crispus,
Concentrations, fragmentation, stems, plants, negative, pollution, detergents,
phytoremediation, chemico-biotic interactions, water quality, sodium dodecyl
sulphate, SDS;

****** Question: Some of your papers were published in the journal entitled
Doklady Biological Sciences. Could you please tell us something about this journal?

Answer: Doklady Biological Sciences (in Russian, the abbreviated title is DAN) is
one of the most authoritative reviewed journals of the Russian Academy of Sciences
(RAS). This journal is covered and indexed by PubMed. The papers and abstracts
are available on the well-known portal, SpringerLink.

This journal contains English versions and translations of the most advanced
current research in molecular biology, cell biology, microbiology, immunology,
physiology, general biology, and plant science, published in the corresponding
sections of the Doklady Akademii Nauk (Proceedings of the Russian Academy of
Sciences). The Proceedings appear 36 times a year, articles from the selected
biological sections are collected, translated, and published in 6 issues a year.
Doklady Biological Sciences publishes the most significant new research in the
biological sciences being done in Russia today, thus ensuring its scientific priority.

Doklady Biological Sciences is indexed in:
Academic OneFile, AGRICOLA, CAB Abstracts, CAB International, Chemical Abstracts
Service (CAS), ChemWeb, EMBiology, Gale, Global Health, Google Scholar, IBIDS,
INIS Atomindex, INPHARMA, OCLC, PubMed/Medline, SCOPUS, Summon by Serial

The members of the editorial board of the journal are the most prominent figures in
the international science of biology and ecology.

All of the papers that we mentioned above are available online free. We put the full
texts of those papers on websites of the Internet resource, Scribd. The web
addresses of those papers were presented above. The addreses of full texts of some
other relevant papers of me are available here:;

****** Question: Is there a concise summary of the main discoveries made both in
the book and in other related publications by the same author?

Answer: Yes, the concise summary is available online free:;

The sum of keywords for this series of answers:

Pollutants, ecotoxicology, environment, sustainability, ecology, effects, surfactant,
detergents, aquatic, pollution, detergents, phytotechnology, phytoremediation,
chemico-biotic interactions, water, quality, bioassay, macrophytes, plants,
Potamogeton, crispus, concentrations, fragmentation, stems, negative, sodium
dodecyl sulphate, SDS; inhibited, filtration, activity, mollusks, freshwater, Unio,
tumidus, Mytilus, galloprovincialis, oysters, Crassostrea, gigas, malacological,
hydrobiological, reserve, pellets, biogeochemical, flows, C, N, P, Si, Al, chemical
elements, carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, silicon, aluminum, Doklady Biological
Sciences, Inhibitory, analysis, regulatory, interactions, trophic, webs,
tetradecyltrimethylammonium, bromide, TDTMA, synthetic, control, plankton,
mussels, eutrophication, cationic, rate, juveniles, marine, bivalves, Mytilus,
galloprovincialis, removal, cells, algae, Monochrysis, lutheri, identification, new,
type, ecological, hazard, chemicals, inhibition, ecological, remediation, shoots,
ecotechnology, sustainable, sustainability, resources, improvement, assessment,
biosphere, hydrosphere, innovation, hot, news, conceptualization, concepts, results,