Marine Biology

, Volume 101, Issue 3, pp 323–327 | Cite as

Kinetics of uranium uptake by the crab Pachygrapsus laevimanus and the zebra winkle Austrocochlea constricta

  • M. Ahsanullah
  • A. R. Williams


The crab Pachygrapsus laevimanus and the zebra winkle Austrocochlea constricta were exposed for 40 d to uranium (1.5 to 10 mg l-1) in continuous-flow sea water in separate starved and fed treatments, and the kinetics of uranium bioaccumulation were estimated from an exponential model. Starved and fed crabs took up U at a similar rate, which suggests that sea water was the major source of U to the crab; the fed crabs excreted U more rapidly than the starved crabs and this led to a lower net uptake of U by fed crabs. Fed and starved winkles took up U at similar rates and excreted it at similar rates, so the sea water was also the major source of U to winkles. Crabs took up more U than winkles; the concentration factors were 7 to 18 and 4, respectively. Uranium turnover was quite slow for both species (11 to 36 d) as it was also for winkle shells (6 d); this suggests that the rate-limiting processes which control turnover are biological (e.g. growth or tissue replacement) or physical (e.g. diffusion into the shell) rather than chemical (e.g. precipitation, adsorption or exchange). There was no effect of increasing U concentration in water on the U kinetic parameters.


Precipitation Uranium Kinetic Parameter Bioaccumulation Similar Rate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature cited

  1. Ahsanullah, M., Mobley, M. C., Negilski, D. S. (1984). Accumulation of cadmium from contaminated water and sediment by the shrimp Callianassa australiensis. Mar. Biol. 82: 191–197Google Scholar
  2. Ahsanullah, M., Williams, A. R. (1986). Effects of uranium on growth and reproduction of the marine amphipod Allorchestes compressa. Mar. Biol. 93: 459–464Google Scholar
  3. Benayoun, G. S., Fowler, S. W., Oregioni, B. (1974). Flux of cadmium through euphausiids. Mar. Biol. 27: 205–217Google Scholar
  4. Bryan, G. W., Ward, E. (1962). Potassium metabolism and the accumulation of 137Cs by the decapod Crustacea. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K. 42: 199–214Google Scholar
  5. Chassard-Bouchaud, B. (1983). Cellular and subcellular localization of uranium in the crab Carcinus maenas: a microanalytical study. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 14: 133–136Google Scholar
  6. Ellis, W. R., Ahsanullah, M. (1984). The use of nuclear techniques to investigate the levels of uranium in marine waters and its uptake and distribution by marine biota. Nucl. Tracks Radiat. Measmt 8: 437–441Google Scholar
  7. Fowler, S. W., Benayoun, G. (1976). Accumulation and distribution of selenium in mussel and shrimp tissues. Bull. envir. Contam. Toxic. 16: 339–346Google Scholar
  8. Hiyama, Y., Shimizu, N. (1969). Uptake of radioactive nuclides by aquatic organisms: the application of the exponential model. In: Environmental Contamination by Radioactive Materials (Seminar Proceedings, Vienna 1969). International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, p. 463–475Google Scholar
  9. Horikoshi, T., Nakajima, A., Sakaguchi, T. (1979). Uptake of uranium from sea water by Synechococcus elongatus. J. Ferment. Technol., Osaka 57: 191–194Google Scholar
  10. IAEA (1982). Generic models and parameters for assessing the environmental transfer of radionuclides from routine releases. Safety Series No. 57. International Atomic Energy Agency, ViennaGoogle Scholar
  11. Luoma, S. N., Bryan, G. W. (1978). Factors controlling the availability of sediment-bound lead to the estuarine bivalve Scrobicularia plana. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K. 58: 793–802Google Scholar
  12. Marsden, I. D., Newell, R. C., Ahsanullah, M. (1973). The effect of starvation on the metabolism of the shore crab Carcinus maenas. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 45A: 195–213Google Scholar
  13. Newell, R. C., Pye, V. I., Ahsanullah, M. (1971). Factors affecting the feeding rate of the winkle Littorina littorea. Mar. Biol. 9: 138–144Google Scholar
  14. Nimmo, D. R., Lightner, D. V., Bahner, L.H. (1977). Effects of cadmium on the shrimp Penaeus duorarum, Palaemonetes pugio and Palaemonetes vulgaris. In: Vernberg, F. J., Calabrese, A., Thorberg, F. P., Vernberg, W. B. (eds.). Physiological responses of marine biota to pollutants. New York, San Francisco, London, Academic Press, p. 131–183Google Scholar
  15. Pankow, J. F., Morgan, J. J. (1981). Kinetics for the aquatic environment. Envir. Sci. Technol. 15: 1155–1164Google Scholar
  16. Phillips, D. J. H. (1980). Quantitative aquatic biological indicators. Applied Science Publishers Ltd., LondonGoogle Scholar
  17. Small, L. F., Fowler, S. W., Keckes, S. (1973). Flux of zinc through a macroplanktonic crustacean. In: Radioactivity in the sea. International Atomic Energy Agency, ViennaGoogle Scholar
  18. Sprey, B., Bochem, H. P. (1981). Uptake of uranium into the alga Dunaliella detected by EDAX and LAMMA-Fresenins. Z. analyt. Chem. 308: 239–245Google Scholar
  19. Stewart, J., Schulz-Baldes, M. (1976). Long-term lead accumulation in abalone (Haliotis spp.) fed on lead-treated brown algae (Egregia laevigata). Mar. Biol. 36: 19–24Google Scholar
  20. Ueda, T., Nakamura, R., Suzuki, Y. (1976). Comparisons of 115Cd accumulation from sediment and seawater by polychaete worms. Bull. Jap. Soc. scient. Fish 42: 299–306Google Scholar
  21. Wall, T. L. (1979). The AAEC uranium analysis service. Atom. Energy Aust. 22: p. 2Google Scholar
  22. Williams, A. R. (1982). Biological uptake and transfer of radium-226, a review. In: Environmental migration of long-lived radionuclides (Symposium Proceedings, Knoxville 1981). International Atomic Energy Agency, ViennaGoogle Scholar
  23. Young, M. L. (1975). The transfer of 65Zn and 59Fe along a Fucus serratus (L.) Littorina obtusata (L.) food chain. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K. 55: 583–610Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Ahsanullah
    • 1
  • A. R. Williams
    • 1
  1. 1.Lucas Heights Research LaboratoriesAustralian Nuclear Science & Technology OrganisationMenaiAustralia

Personalised recommendations