Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 44, Issue 1–3, pp 11–19 | Cite as

Effects of the Heavy Metals Copper and Zinc on Zooxanthellae Cells in Culture

  • B.P.L. Goh
  • L.M. Chou


The growth of symbiotic algal cells (zooxanthellae) isolated from the coral, Montipora verrucosa under the influence of the heavy metals copper (Cu) and Zinc (Zn) was investigated. Zooxanthellae cells cultured in f/2 enriched seawater medium were subjected to a maximum Cu level of 42µg.l-1, Zn concentration of 509µg.l-1, and various combinations of the two metals, in ecotoxicological bioassays lasting up to 28 days. A Cu level of 40µg.l-1 caused significantly depressed specific growth rates of cell cultures obtained using a standard growth model. Low concentrations of the metals Cu and Zn in combination elicited synergistic effects of sublethal toxicity. The use of cultured zooxanthellae cells in bioassays investigating sublethal effects of heavy metal stress has relevant applications in the field of pollution monitoring.


Zinc Specific Growth Specific Growth Rate Algal Cell Metal Stress 
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

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • B.P.L. Goh
    • 1
  • L.M. Chou
    • 1
  1. 1.Reef Ecology Laboratory, Department of ZoologyNational University of SingaporeSingapore

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