Tissue Distribution and Correlation Profiles of Heavy-Metal Accumulation in the Freshwater Crayfish Astacus leptodactylus

  • Evren Tunca
  • Esra Ucuncu
  • Alper Devrim Ozkan
  • Zeynep Ergul Ulger
  • Turgay Tekinay


The present work details the analysis of heavy-metal and metalloid concentrations in exoskeleton, gill, hepatopancreas, and abdominal muscle tissues of 60 crayfish (Astacus leptodactylus) specimens collected from Lake Hirfanlı, a dam lake located in Kırşehir (Turkey) with a low metal-contamination profile. Concentrations of 11 metals (aluminum [Al], chromium [Cd], manganese [Mn], cobalt [Co], nickel [Ni], copper [Cu], molybdenum [Mo], silver [Ag], cadmium [Cd], mercury [Hg], and lead [Pb]) and a metalloid (arsenic [As]) were measured by inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry, and the relative frequencies of the most abundant isotopes of Cr, Cu, Ag, Cd, Hg, and Pb were evaluated. Three correlation trends were evaluated between the following: (1) different elements in the each individual tissue, (2) individual elements in different tissues, and (3) different elements in different tissues. In addition, correlation rates of growth parameters (weight, cephalothorax length, and total length) with heavy-metal and metalloid concentrations in each tissue were investigated. Our results suggest that substantial differences in metal and metalloid-accumulation levels exist between male and female specimens, with stronger correlations between the heavy-metal concentrations observed in the male cohort. It is notable that correlation trends of Co, Cu, 52As, Cr, and Ni in exoskeleton of the male specimens display strong similarities. Likewise, a very strong correlation is present in Ni–Cd and Ni–Pb accumulations in abdominal muscle of the male specimens; a similar trend is present between Cd and Pb concentrations in the same tissue of female specimens. For correlation rates of different heavy metals and metalloid in different tissues, the strongest positive association observed was between 63Cu in gill and As in hepatopancreas, whereas the strongest negative correlation was between accumulated Ni in abdominal muscle and As in exoskeleton. Strong correlations between metals and metalloid accumulations were observed between exoskeleton and gill. In many cases, metal and metalloid accumulation was negatively correlated with growth parameters. Preferential accumulation of Cr and Cu isotopes was observed in different tissues, suggesting that significant amounts of isotope fractionation occur during heavy-metal accumulation. Relatively low correlation rates were observed between 52Cr/53Cr and 63Cu/65Cu concentrations in several tissue types in both male and female cohorts, whereas no such trend was observed between Cd and Pb isotopes.


Heavy Metal Biosorption Tissue Type Abdominal Muscle Gill Tissue 
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We thank Erdem Akıncı for expert guidance in carrying out ICP-MS measurements. This work is supported by the Turkish National Nanotechnology Research Center and Grants by the State Planning Organization of Turkey.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Evren Tunca
    • 1
  • Esra Ucuncu
    • 2
  • Alper Devrim Ozkan
    • 1
  • Zeynep Ergul Ulger
    • 2
  • Turgay Tekinay
    • 1
  1. 1.UNAM-Institute of Materials Science and Nanotechnology, Bilkent UniversityAnkaraTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Biology, Faculty of ScienceAnkara UniversityAnkaraTurkey

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