Copper, zinc, and organotin as long-term factors governing the distribution of organisms in the fal estuary in Southwest England
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
Evidence of long-term metal pollution in the Fal Estuary is provided by analyses of Cu in oyster (Ostrea edulis) communities extending over more than 120 yr and by analyses of Cu and Zn in sediments dating back to 1921. Indications are that levels of Cu pollution from mining have declined very slowly but that Zn pollution has not. In Restronguet Creek, the most heavily polluted area, metal levels in waters and sediments are elevated by orders of magnitude. The invertebrate fauna of the creek is limited, but far richer than might be predicted from laboratory toxicity data. The cockleCerastoderma edule exemplifies organisms that are excluded from the creek owing to the toxicity of dissolved Cu, whereasOstrea edulis, by virtue of its innate tolerance to Cu and Zn, grown in the Iower reaches. On the other hand, the population of the ragwornNereis diversicolor, which penetrates into the most heavily polluted areas, is demonstrably far more tolerant of Cu and Zn than population from clean areas and appears to be a tolerant strain. To a considerable degree, therefore, the distribution of species is dependent not only on the innate ability of some species to tolerate Cu and Zn, but on the capacities of other populations to develop metal resistance and thereby maintain their original range of distribution. Present-day problems in the Fal Estuary appear to stem not only from mining wastes but also from the increased usage of tributyltins in antifouling paints. In the dogwhelkNucella lapillus, the incidence of imposex (the appearance of a penis and other male characters in females) is virtually 100% at sites along the English Channel coast of southwest England. The degree of imposex is related to the body concentration of hexane-extractable organotin, which includes both tributyltin and dibutyltin fractions. The highest degree of imposex, where the female penis approaches that of the male in size, occurs in the Fal Estuary; also, in some males the penis becomes deformed. Populations of dogwhelks have declined dramatically in this estuary, and are also characterised by the presence of relatively fewer females and by the absence of juveniles and egg capsules. Reproductive failure in females is now known to be caused by blockage of the pallial oviduct during the development of imposex.
- Blaber, S. J. M. 1970. The occurrence of a penis-like out-growth behind the right tentacle in spent females ofNucella lapillus (L.).Proc. Malac. Soc. Lond. 39:231–233.
- Boyce, R., andW. A. Herdman. 1898. On a green leucocytosis in oysters associated with the presence of copper in leucocytes.Proc. R. Soc. Lond. 62:30–38.
- Boyden, C. R. 1977. Effect of size upon metal content of shell-fish.J. Mar. Biol. Assoc. U.K. 57:675–714.
- Boyden, C. R., andD. J. H. Phillips. 1981. Seasonal variation and inherent variability of trace elements in oysters and their implications for indicator studies.Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 5:29–40. CrossRef
- Bryan, G. W. 1976. Heavy metal contamination in the sea, p. 185–302.In R. Johnston (ed.), Marine Pollution. Academic Press, London and New York.
- Bryan, G. W. 1985. The biological availability and effects of heavy metals in marine deposits, p. 41–79.In B. H. Ketchum, J. M. Capuzzo, W. V. Burt, I. W. Duedall, P. Kilho Park, and D. R. Kester (eds.), Wastes in the Ocean, Vol. 6, Near Shore Waste Disposal. Wiley-Interscience, New York.
- Bryan, G. W., andP. E. Gibbs. 1980. Metals in nereid polychactes: The contribution of metals in the jaws to the total body burden.J. Mar. Biol. Assoc. U.K. 60:641–654.
- Bryan, G. W., andP. E. Gibbs. 1983. Heavy metals in the Fal Estuary (Cornwall): A study of long-term contamination by mining waste and its effects on estuarine organism.Mar. Biol. Assoc. U.K. (occ. publ. 2): 1–112.
- Bryan, G. W., P. E. Gibbs, L. G. Hummerstone, andG. R. Burt. 1986. The decline of the gastropod,Nucella lapillus around southwest England: Evidence for the effect of tributyltin from antifouling paints.J. Mar. Biol. Assoc. U.K. 66:611–640.
- Bryan, G. W., andL. G. Hummerstone. 1971. Adaptation of the polychaeteNereis diversicolor to estuarine sediments containing high concentrations of heavy metals. I. General observations and adaptation to copper.J. Mar. Biol. Assoc. U.K. 51:845–863.
- Bryan, G. W., andL. G. Hummerstone. 1973. Adaptation of the polychaeteNereis diversicolor to estuarine sediments containing high concentrations of zinc and cadmium.J. Mar. Biol. Assoc. U.K. 53:839–857.
- Crothers, J. H. 1975. On variation inNucella lapillus (L.): Shell shape in populations from the south coast of England.Proc. Malac. Soc. Lond. 41:489–498.
- Dales, R. P. 1950. The reproduction and larval development ofNereis diversicolor O. F. Müller.J. Mar. Biol. Assoc. U.K. 29:321–360.
- Dines, H. G. 1956. The Metalliferous Mining Region of South-West England. Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, London. 508 p.
- Fédal, C. 1980. Variations dans l'evolution du tractus génital mâle externe des femelles de trois gastéropodes prosobranches gonochoriques de stations Atlantiques.Cah. Biol. Mar. 21:479–491.
- Féral, C., andS. Le Gall. 1982. Induction expérimentale par un polluant marin (le tributylétain), de l'activité neuroendocrine contrôlant la morphogenèse du pénis chez les femelles d'Ocenebra erinacea (Mollusque, Prosobranche gonochorique).C.R. Acad. Sci. Paris. Ser. III 295:627–630.
- Fletcher, C. R. 1970. The regulation of calcium and magnesium in the brackish water polychaeteNereis diversicolor O.F.M..J. Exp. Biol. 53:425–443.
- George, S. G., B. J. S. Pirie, A. R. cheyne, T. L. Coombs, and P. T. Grant. 1978. Detoxicaton of metals by marine bivalves: An ultrastructural study of the compartmentation of copper and zinc in the oysterOstrea edulis.Mar. Biol. 45:147–156. CrossRef
- Gibbs, P. E., andG. W. Bryan. 1986. Reproductive failure in populations of the dogwhelkNucella lapillus, caused by imposex induced by tributyltin from antifouling paints.J. Mar. Biol. Assoc. U.K. 66:767–777.
- Howard, L. S., andB. E. Brown. 1983. Natural variation in tissue concentration of copper, zinc and iron in the polychaete.Nereis diversicolor. Mar. Biol. 78:87–97. CrossRef
- Klumpp, D. W., andP. J. Peterson. 1979. Arsenic and other trace elements in the waters and organisms of an estuary in SW England.Environ. Pollut. 19:11–20. CrossRef
- Laughlin, R. B., andO. Linden. 1985. Fate and effects of organotin compounds.Ambio 14:88–94.
- Laughlin, R. B., R. Johannesen, W. French, H. Guard, andF. E. Brinckman. 1985. Structure-activity relationships for organotin compounds.Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 4:343–351. CrossRef
- Luoma, S. N., andG. W. Bryan. 1982. A statistical assessment of environmental factors controlling the concentrations of heavy metals in the burrowing bivalveScrobicularia plana and the polychaeteNereis diversicolor.Estuarine Coastal Shelf Sci. 15:95–108. CrossRef
- Luoma, S. N., G. W. Bryan, andW. J. Langston. 1982. Scavenging of heavy metals from particulates by brown seaweed.Mar. Pollut. Bull. 13:394–396. CrossRef
- Martin, M., K. E. Osborn, P. Billig, andN. Glickstein. 1981. Toxicities of ten metals toCrassostrea gigas andMytilus edulis embryos andCancer magister larvae.Mar. Pollut. Bull. 12:305–308. CrossRef
- Miller, E. R., andJ. S. Pondick. 1984. Heavy metal levels inNucella lapillus (Gastropoda: Prosobranchia) from sites with normal and penis-bearing females from New England.Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 33:612–620. CrossRef
- Orton, J. H. 1923. An account of investigations into the cause or causes of the unusual mortality among oysters in English oyster beds during 1920 and 1921.Min. Ag. Fish. Fishery Investigations. Ser II. 7(3):1–199.
- O’Shaughnessy, A. W. E. 1866. On green oysters.Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. 18:221–228.
- Pirie, B. J. S., S. G. George, D. G. Lytton, andJ. D. Thomson. 1984. Metal-containing blood cells of oysters: Ultrastructure, histochemistry and X-ray microanalysis.J. Mar. Biol. Assoc. U.K. 64:115–123. CrossRef
- Smith, B. S. 1971. Sexuality of the American mud snail,Nassarius obsoletus (Say).Proc. Malac. Soc. Lond. 39:377–378.
- Smith, B. S. 1980. The estuarine mud snail,Nasarius obsoletus: Abnormalities in the reproductive system.J. Molluscan Stud. 46:247–256.
- Smith, B. S. 1981a. Male characteristics on female mud snails caused by antifouling bottom paints.J. Appl. Toxicol. 1:22–25. CrossRef
- Smith, B. S. 1981b. Tributyltin compounds induce male characteristics on female mud snailsNassarius obsoletus=Ilyanassa obsoleta.J. Appl. Toxicol. 1:141–144. CrossRef
- Ward, G. S., G. C. Cramm, P. R. Parrish, H. Trachman, and A. Slesinger. 1981. Bioaccumulation and chronic toxicity of Bis (tributyltin) Oxide (TBTO): Tests with a saltwater fish, p. 183–200.In D.R. Branson and K. L. Dickson (eds.), Aquatic Toxicology and Hazard Assessment: Fourth Conference, ASTMSTP737, American Society for Testing and Materials.
- Copper, zinc, and organotin as long-term factors governing the distribution of organisms in the fal estuary in Southwest England
Volume 10, Issue 3 , pp 208-219
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Additional Links
- Industry Sectors