, Volume 78, Issue 1, pp 87-97

Natural variations in tissue concentration of copper, zinc and iron in the polychaete Nereis diversicolor

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This study was undertaken to investigate the natural variation of heavy metals in the polychaete Nereis diversicolor O. F. Müller and to examine this variation with respect to physiological and environmental parameters. During a 2 yr period from October 1980 to October 1982, concentrations of copper, zinc and iron in N. diversicolor from the Tees Estuary, North East England, were found to vary significantly with time. A seasonal influence on whole body copper concentration, in part related to the reproductive cycle, was observed. Zinc concentrations in N. diversicolor increased during periods of rapid growth and may represent a physiological demand for this metal. Whole body concentrations of iron appeared to be independent of size of worm, sexual maturation and sediment concentrations.