No relationship found between mercury and lead concentrations in muscle and scales of chub Squalius cephalus L.
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We examined the relationship between muscle and scale mercury (Hg) and lead (Pb) concentrations in chub Squalius cephalus L. from six riverine sites in the Czech Republic in order to determine whether scale analysis alone could provide a nonlethal and convenient method for prediction of heavy metal concentration in muscle tissue. Our results confirm tissue-specific heavy metal accumulation in chub, with Hg tending to accumulate primarily in muscle tissue and Pb in scales. We found no significant relationship, however, for concentrations of either Pb or Hg between muscle tissue and scales of chub. Our results indicate that scales cannot be used for predicting heavy metal contamination in muscle of chub and we recommend, therefore, that muscle biopsy methods continue as the preferred method of analysis.
KeywordsMercury Lead Chub Nonlethal methods Scales
This study was supported by research project VaV SP/207/73/08 “Identification of anthropogenic pressures on the quantitative state of water and water ecosystems in the Morava and Dyje river basin district” and project ECIP P505/12/G112 “European Centre of Ichthyoparasitology”.
The authors are grateful to the officials and managers of the Czech Anglers Union and the Moravian Anglers Union for allowing us to sample fish, and the staff of Morava River Basin Authority for providing data on water contamination levels. We would like to thank Radoslava Funková for laboratory analysis, Mgr. Michal Janáč, Ph.D. for help with statistical analysis and all the people who helped in the field. Finally, we thank two anonymous referees for their helpful comments.
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