Effect of metal accumulation on metallothionein level and condition of the periwinkle Littorina littorea along the Scheldt estuary (the Netherlands)
Van den Broeck, H.; De Wolf, H.; Backeljau, T.; Blust, R. (2010). Effect of metal accumulation on metallothionein level and condition of the periwinkle Littorina littorea along the Scheldt estuary (the Netherlands). Environ. Pollut. 158(5): 1791-1799. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2009.11.004
Metal (i.e. Ag, As, Ca, Cd, Co, Cu, Mn, Pb and Zn) and metallothionein (MT) concentrations in the soft tissue of Littorina littorea were measured along the heavily polluted Western Scheldt (WS) and relatively clean Eastern Scheldt(ES) estuary. Along the WS metal and MT levels in periwinkles reflected the known downstream decreasing pollution gradient. Surprisingly in ES animals As, Mn and Zn concentrations decreased from east to west reflecting past pollution. Compared to the WS metal concentrations of ES periwinkles were significantly lower and both estuaries were maximally discriminated from each other based on their Cd soft tissue concentration using a canonical discriminant analysis. Furthermore, no overall difference was found in MT levels among animals from both estuaries. Using previously obtained condition data (i.e. dry/wet weight ratio and lipid content) the relation between soft tissue metal concentration (i.e. Cd, Cu and Zn) and fitness indicators (i.e. MT and condition data) was examined using a canonical correlation analysis. Periwinkles with a high metal load (i.e. Cd and Zn) also had high MT levels but were in a relatively poor condition.Studying the effect of metals on MT and condition revealed that Littorina littorea with a high metal load also had high MT levels but were in relatively poor condition.
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