, Volume 114, Issue 3, pp 407-414

Concentration and distribution of heavy metals in tissues of two cephalopods, Eledone cirrhosa and Sepia officinalis, from the French coast of the English Channel

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Abstract

The concentrations of 11 heavy metals (Ag, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, V and Zn) were measured in the tissues (digestive gland, branchial hearts, gills, digestive tract, kidney, genital tract, muscle, skin, shell) of the two cephalopods Eledone cirrhosa (d'Orb.) and Sepia officinalis (L.) collected from the French coast of the English Channel in October 1987. The tissues of both species displayed a similar pattern of heavy-metal accumulation: the digestive gland, branchial hearts and kidney were the major sites of concentration for all 11 metals; the digestive gland accumulated silver, cadmium, cobalt, copper, iron, lead and zinc, the branchial hearts high concentrations of copper, nickel and vanadium, and the kidney high concentrations of manganese, nickel and lead. The digestive gland, which constituted 6 to 10% of the whole-animal tissue, contained >80% of the total body burden of Ag, Cd and Co and from 40 to 80% of the total body burden of the other metals. The ratios between heavy metal concentrations in the digestive gland and those in the muscle separated the elements into three groups, those with a ratio ≤10 (Cr, Mn, Ni, Pb, V, Zn), those with a ratio >10 to <50 (Co, Cu, Fe), and those with a ratio ≥50 (Ag, Cd). The digestive gland of cephalopods (carnivorous molluscs whose age can be easily calculated with great accuracy) would seem to constitute a good potential indicator of heavy metal concentrations in the marine environment.

Communicated by J. M. Pérès, Marseille