Trophic transfer of metals in a seagrass food web

Bioaccumulation of essential and non-essential metals

Larissa Schneider, William A. Maher, Jaimie Potts, Anne M. Taylor, Graeme E. Batley, Frank Krikowa, Aaron Adamack, Anthony A. Chariton, Bernd Gruber

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Metal concentrations are reported for a seagrass ecosystem receiving industrial inputs. δ13C and δ15N isotope ratios were used to establish trophic links. Copper concentrations (dry mass) ranged from <0.01 μg/g in fish species to 570 μg/g (μ = 49 ± SD = 90 μg/g) in the oyster Saccostrea glomerata. Zinc concentrations ranged from 0.6 μg/g in the seagrass Zostera capricorni to 10,800 μg/g in the mud oyster Ostrea angasi (μ = 434 ± 1390 μg/g). Cadmium concentrations ranged from <0.01 μg/g in fish species to 268 μg/g in Ostrea angasi (μ = 6 ± 25 μg/g). Lead concentrations ranged from <0.01 μg/g for most fish species to 20 μg/g in polychaetes (μ = 2 ± 3 μg/g). Biomagnification of metals did not occur. Organisms that fed on particulate organic matter and benthic microalgae had higher metal concentrations than those that fed on detritus. Species physiology also played an important role in the bioaccumulation of metals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)468-480
Number of pages13
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume131 Part A
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


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