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Marine Biology

, Volume 136, Issue 5, pp 837–846 | Cite as

Simultaneous, long-term monitoring of valve and cardiac activity in the blue mussel Mytilus edulis exposed to copper

  • T. M. Curtis
  • R. Williamson
  • M. H. Depledge

Abstract

Valve and cardiac activity were simultaneously measured in the blue mussel (Mytilus edulis) in response to 10 d copper exposure. Valve movements, heart rates and heart-rate variability were obtained non-invasively using a Musselmonitor® (valve activity) and a modified version of the Computer-Aided Physiological Monitoring system (CAPMON; cardiac activity). After 2 d exposure of mussels (4 individuals per treatment group) to a range of dissolved copper concentrations (0 to 12.5 M as CuCl2) median valve positions (% open) and median heart rates (beats per minute) declined as a function of copper concentration. Heart-rate variability (coefficient of variation for interpulse durations) rose in a concentration-dependent manner. The 48 h EC50 values (concentrations of copper causing 50% change) for valve positions, heart rates and heart-rate variability were 2.1, 0.8, and 0.06 M, respectively. Valve activity was weakly correlated with both heart rate (r = 0.48 ± 0.02) and heart-rate variability (r = 0.32 ± 0.06) for control individuals (0 M Cu2+). This resulted from a number of short enclosure events that did not coincide with a change in cardiac activity. Exposure of mussels to increasing copper concentrations (≥0.8 M) progressively reduced the correlation between valve activity and heart rates (r = 0 for individuals dosed with ≥6.3 M Cu2+), while correlations between valve activity and heart-rate variability were unaffected. The poor correlations resulted from periods of valve flapping that were not mimicked by similar fluctuations in heart rate or heart-rate variability. The data suggest that the copper-induced bradycardia observed in mussels is not a consequence of prolonged valve closure.

Keywords

Heart Rate Copper Concentration Cardiac Activity Blue Mussel Valve Closure 
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.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. M. Curtis
    • 1
  • R. Williamson
    • 1
  • M. H. Depledge
    • 2
  1. 1.Marine Biological Association of the UK Laboratory, Citadel Hill, Plymouth PL1 2PB, Devon, EnglandGB
  2. 2.Plymouth Environmental Research Centre, University of Plymouth, Plymouth PL4 8AA, Devon, EnglandGB

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