A field study on stress indices in the sea mussel,Mytilus edulis: Application of the “stress approach” in biomonitoring
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- Veldhuizen-Tsoerkan, M.B., Holwerda, D.A., de Bont, A.M.T. et al. Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. (1991) 21: 497. doi:10.1007/BF01183870
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Sea mussels,Mytilus edulis, collected from a relatively unpolluted area of the Eastern Scheldt, were transplanted along contaminated sites of the Western Scheldt for 21/2z and 5 months. Several established stress indices were determined such as accumulation of pollutants, adenylate energy charge (AEC), and condition index. Following field exposure, mussels were also subjected to an additional lethal or sublethal stress. The data show that environmental exposure alters the mussel's response to stress,viz., aerial exposure and increased temperature, at the organismal (anoxic survival time), biochemical (AEC), and molecular (heat shock protein synthesis) level. The “stress approach” to assessment of environmental contamination appears to be a promising method to disclose early changes in the organism at a stage when conventional parameters (condition index, AEC) remain still unchanged.