Trace Metals in the Brown Mussel Perna perna from the Coastal Waters Off Yemen (Gulf of Aden): How Concentrations Are Affected by Weight, Sex, and Seasonal Cycle
The effects of seasonal cycle, sex of individuals, and changes of soft tissues weight on accumulated trace metal concentrations (Cd, Cu, Fe, Mn, Pb, Zn) were examined in the brown mussel Perna perna collected monthly from a natural rocky habitat in the coastal waters off Yemen, the Gulf of Aden, for a period of ten months. Basic hydrological parameters were recorded simultaneously. All metals analyzed displayed seasonal fluctuations with different temporal patterns and variable amplitudes. Similar seasonal cycles were observed for Cu, Mn, and Pb with an increase in accumulated concentration during the rainy period (NE monsoon), and a decrease thereafter. The concentrations of Cu, Mn, and partially Pb appeared to be related to environmental changes, the concentration of Pb possibly also being related to changes in body weight. Accumulated concentrations of Cu and Mn thus seem to reflect actual metal bioavailability in the ecosystem quite efficiently. The tissue levels of Fe and Cd changed inversely to fluctuations in body weight with additional variation due to monsoon-related environmental changes. The behaviors of Fe and Cd are therefore driven by seasonally changing body weight with a considerable contribution of external factors including fluctuations in hydrological conditions and metal exposure. The Zn concentrations tended to increase gradually throughout most of the year regardless of its concentration in the environment. Zinc is considered to be mainly regulated by physiological mechanisms in the mussel, making its accumulated metal concentration independent to some degree of environmental levels. Significant differences in trace metal concentrations between sexes (in favour of females) might have resulted from more intense formation of reproductive tissues and metal accumulation in sexual products of females during the prespawning and spawning periods.
KeywordsCoastal Water Seasonal Cycle Reproductive Tissue Perna Change Body Weight
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