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Title: Pattern and pathways for mercury lifespan bioaccumulation in Carcinus maenas
Author: Coelho, J. P.
Reis, A. T.
Ventura, S.
Pereira, M. E.
Duarte, A. C.
Pardal, M. A.
Keywords: Mercury
Organic mercury
Carcinus maenas
Lifespan bioaccumulation pattern
Issue Date: Jun-2008
Publisher: Elsevier
Abstract: Carcinus maenas is an important and exploited natural resource in temperate estuaries, being consumed by local populations and also used as fish bait. Through bioaccumulation and bioamplification processes occurring in polluted estuarine ecosystems, this species may directly or indirectly represent a major pathway for Human contamination. No information is available on the overall lifespan bioaccumulation pattern of mercury for this species, which would be an invaluable tool for assessing the risks associated with C. maenas harvest in contaminated areas. Taking that in mind, the main objectives of this work were to clarify the lifespan bioaccumulation pattern of mercury for this species. A consistent lifespan accumulation pattern was found for this species, both for total and organic mercury, and coherent differences were found between genders, suggesting different physiological responses to contamination. From our results two scenarios emerge: (a) for low mercury contamination areas where the diet is the major pathway for metal uptake, with higher levels in muscle and hepatopancreas (twice as high as in gills) and higher organic mercury fractions (as high as 80–90% in muscle), crabs bioaccumulate with age and (b) on high contaminated areas, environmental exposure is predominant, with higher levels found in gills (reaching 0.8 mg kg−1), lower organic fractions and no mercury increment with age. Detoxification strategies, dietary differences and species mobility may account for these two accumulation patterns.
Peer review: yes
DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2008.03.020
ISSN: 0025-326X
Appears in Collections:DBio - Artigos
PT Mar - Artigos

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