Istituto di Scienze Marine     
Marin M. G., Boscolo R., Cella A., Degetto S., Da Ros L. Field validation of autometallographical black silver deposit (BSD) extent in three bivalve species from the Lagoon of Venice, Italy (Mytilus galloprovincialis, Tapes philippinarum, Scapharca inaequivalvis) for metal bioavailability assessment. In: Science of the Total Environment, vol. 371 (40238) pp. 156 - 167. Elsevier Science Bv, 2006.
The autometallographic approach was applied to three filter-feeder bivalves from differently polluted sites of the Lagoon of Venice. The area density (AD) values of black silver deposits (BSDs) were therefore seasonally quantified by image analysis in digestive cell lysosomes. Sediments were characterised in terms of grain size, organic content and metal concentrations (Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn). The physiological status of the bivalves was also evaluated by applying the ""survival in air"" test as a generic stress index. Chemical results showed that Zn contributed to the total metal load for more than 60% in sediments and for 85% - 94% in mussel and clam digestive glands, respectively (data processed from published results obtained on the same samples). Regression analyses between extent of BSDs and both total metal and Zn concentrations in digestive gland followed a linear pattern in mussels and clams, but not in arks. Similarly, in mussels and clams only, BSD amount was significantly correlated with total metal concentrations in sediments according to a logarithmic model. Consequently, results obtained from autometallography can discriminate sites on the basis of their metal pollution levels, like chemical analyses on both sediments and digestive glands, evaluations being supported by the results of the physiological stress index. As a conclusion, it is suggested that autometallography in bivalves may provide overall estimates of metal fractions moving from sediments towards organisms through the ingestion of metal-enriched particles. Future work is needed to define the bioaccumulation model in arks and to clarify their possible use as metal biomonitors. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2006.09.003
Subject autometallography
sediment pollution
trace metal
Lagoon of Venice

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