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Bioaccumulation of Metals in Tissues of Seahorses Collected from Coastal China

Abstract

Seahorses, which have been used in Chinese traditional medicine, are poor swimmers and easily affected by regional ecological conditions. In this study, we investigated the bioaccumulation of nine metals in different tissues of four seahorse species (Hippocampus trimaculatus, H. histrix, H. kelloggi, and H. kuda) from six locations along the Chinese coast. The present study found relatively low concentrations of metals in the seahorses compared with those in other marine fishes. There was a location-dependent variation in metal concentrations in the seahorses, especially between developed and less developed cities. Results also showed metal concentrations varied among different seahorse species and tissues, with H. kelloggi having higher bioaccumulation ability compared with H. trimaculatus and higher metal levels were found in visceral mass, muscle, and skin tissues than those in brain, lips gill, endoskeleton, and exoskeleton tissues in the seahorses. Among different metals, Mg had the highest tissue concentrations in all the seahorses, followed by Al and Mn.

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Acknowledgments

This study was funded by the Outstanding Youth Foundation in Guangdong Province (S2013050014802), the National Science Fund for Excellent Young Scholars (41322038), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41176146, 41306148), and the Special Fund for Agro-scientific Research in the Public Interest (201403008).

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Correspondence to Qiang Lin.

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Zhang, W., Zhang, Y., Zhang, L. et al. Bioaccumulation of Metals in Tissues of Seahorses Collected from Coastal China. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 96, 281–288 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-016-1728-4

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Keywords

  • Metals
  • Bioaccumulation
  • Tissue
  • Seahorse