Inderscience Publishers

Size-related trace metal bioaccumulation in Asiatic clams (Corbicula fluminea) from the Rio de la Plata estuary, Argentina

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Asiatic clams from the Rio de la Plata estuary were classified in seven Shell Length (SL) classes (6.0 ≤ SL ≤ 41.0 mm) and analysed for metals to evaluate their bioaccumulation dynamics and characterise the significance of growth-related variability potentially interfering in clam monitoring programmes. Metal concentrations were rather homogeneous (Zn: 223 ± 64; Fe: 222 ± 87; Cu: 29 ± 5.5; Mn: 20 ± 5.5; Cr: 2.9 ± 1.1; Ni: 2.5 ± 0.9; Cd: 0.7 ± 0.3 µg g−1). Regression analyses between metal concentrations and clam size, SL, soft tissues dry weight (BW) displayed different patterns: decreasing (Fe-Cd-Cr-Zn), independent (Mn-Ni) and increasing (Cu) concentrations with size, representing accumulation strategies from regulation to net accumulation. Covariance analyses of metal concentrations-SL/BW indicated no significant seasonal differences. Metal particulate phase speciation in the RLP, clam depuration and suspended particulate size-fractionation assays suggest that fine suspended particles are the prevailing clam metal mode of uptake.

Keywords: trace metals, Asiatic clams, bioaccumulation, biomonitoring, Rio de la Plata, environmental health, freshwater ecotoxicology, water pollution, Argentina

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