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Trace Metals in Oysters, Crassotrea sps., from UNESCO Protected Natural Reserve of Urdaibai: Space-Time Observations and Source Identification


The seasonal and spatial variability of trace metal concentrations of oyster tissues (Crassostea sps.) was studied. The samples were collected between 2002 and 2004 along the Urdaibai estuary (Murueta, Kanala and Arteaga). The seasonal influence on some metal concentrations (higher values in spring–summer season than in autumn–winter season) is more pronounced than the local site-specific influence. Furthermore, within each location a significant time-specific dependence on the trace metal concentration variations can be detected. Substantially higher concentrations of Zn (445.5–2,403.3 mg kg−1) and Mn (29.4–169.6 mg kg−1) were recorded in oysters inhabiting estuarine locations, possibly indicating a markedly higher natural bioavailability at these locations. Principal component analysis demonstrated that oysters could be separated depending on the inhabiting areas: Sn for Murueta, essential metals for Kanala, and Co and Cd for Arteaga sampling points, respectively.

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This work was supported by the ETORTEK programme of the Basque Government through the Berrilur II project (IE06-179).

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Correspondence to L. Bartolomé.

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Raposo, J.C., Bartolomé, L., Cortazar, E. et al. Trace Metals in Oysters, Crassotrea sps., from UNESCO Protected Natural Reserve of Urdaibai: Space-Time Observations and Source Identification. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 83, 223–229 (2009).

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  • Oysters
  • Trace metals
  • ICP-MS
  • Biomonitoring
  • Urdaibai estuary