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Bioaccumulation of pollutants and changes in population parameters in the gastropod mollusc Austrocochlea constricta

Abstract

The gastropod mollusc Austrocochlea constricta was collected from four marine locations within the Newcastle region of New South Wales, Australia to assess the range and distribution of major bioaccumulated organic and heavy metal pollutants. The metals and organopollutants were extracted from the soft tissue and the shell of the mollusc for analysis using atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) and gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GC-MS). The organisms accumulated heavy metals from the sea water and concentrated them to levels substantially higher than those in the surrounding environment. A wide range of organopollutants was also detected in varying levels in Austrochochlea from each location. Abietic and dehydroabietic acids were detected only in the shell and not in the soft tissue suggesting that the shell may act as a “toxic waste sink” to facilitate the removal of potentially harmful compounds from the more metabolically active soft tissue. Aliphatic hydrocarbon contaminants were detected in Austrocochlea derived from the three sites associated with either heavy industry or recreational boating, but no hydrocarbons were detected in organisms from the control site. It was concluded that Austrocochlea may serve as a useful biomonitoring system of pollutants bioaccumulated from marine environments.

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Walsh, K., Dunstan, R.H., Murdoch, R.N. et al. Bioaccumulation of pollutants and changes in population parameters in the gastropod mollusc Austrocochlea constricta . Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 26, 367–373 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00203564

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00203564

Keywords

  • Heavy Metal
  • Soft Tissue
  • Hydrocarbon
  • Bioaccumulation
  • Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy