Marine Biology

, Volume 67, Issue 1, pp 15–31 | Cite as

Responses of Mytilus edulis on exposure to the water-accommodated fraction of North Sea oil

  • J. Widdows
  • T. Bakke
  • B. L. Bayne
  • P. Donkin
  • D. R. Livingstone
  • D. M. Lowe
  • M. N. Moore
  • S. V. Evans
  • S. L. Moore


Individuals of Mytilus edulis L., collected from the Erme estuary (S.W. England) in 1978, were exposed to low concentrations (7 to 68 μg l-1) of the water-accommodated fraction (WAF) of North Sea crude oil. The pattern of accumulation of petroleum hydrocarbons in the body tissues was affected by the presence of algal food cells, the period of exposure, the hydrocarbon concentration in seawater, the type of body tissue and the nature of the hydrocarbon. Many physiological responses (e.g. rates of oxygen consumption, feeding, excretion, and scope for growth), cellular responses (e.g. lysosomal latency and digestive cell size) and biochemical responses (e.g. specific activities of several enzymes) were significantly altered by short-term (4 wk) and/or long-term (5 mo) exposure to WAF. Stress indices such as scope for growth and lysosomal latency were negatively correlated with tissue aromatic hydrocarbons.


Hydrocarbon Oxygen Consumption Aromatic Hydrocarbon Cellular Response Physiological Response 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Widdows
    • 1
  • T. Bakke
    • 1
  • B. L. Bayne
    • 1
  • P. Donkin
    • 1
  • D. R. Livingstone
    • 1
  • D. M. Lowe
    • 1
  • M. N. Moore
    • 1
  • S. V. Evans
    • 1
  • S. L. Moore
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Marine Environmental ResearchPlymouthEngland

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