Validation of two tropical marine bivalves as bioindicators of mining contamination in the New Caledonia lagoon: Field transplantation experiments

Abstract : The bioaccumulation and retention capacities of some key local contaminants of the New Caledonia lagoon (Ag, As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni and Zn) have been determined in the oyster Isognomon isognomon and the edible clam Gafrarium tumidum during transplantation experiments. In a first set of experiments, oysters and clams from a clean site were transplanted into contaminated sites. Uptake kinetics determined in the field indicated that for Cr and Cu in oysters and Co, Ni, and Zn in clams, concentrations in transplanted bivalves reached those of resident organisms after 100d, whereas for the other elements, it would require a longer time for transplanted bivalves to reach the same levels as in the resident populations (e.g., up to 3 years for Cd). However, the slow uptake rate for metals observed in the latter transplantation is rather related to low bioavailability of metals at the contaminated sites than to low bioaccumulation efficiency of the organisms. Indeed, results of a second transplantation experiment into two highly contaminated stations indicated a faster bioaccumulation of metals in both bivalves. Results of both transplantations point out that the clam G. tumidum is a more effective bioindicator of mining contamination than I. isognomon, since it is able to bioaccumulate the contaminants to a greater extent. However the very efficient metal retention capacity noted for most elements indicates that organisms originating from contaminated sites would not be suitable for monitoring areas of lower contamination. Hence, geographical origin of animals to be transplanted in a monitoring perspective should be carefully selected.
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Laëtitia Hédouin, O. Pringault, Paco Bustamante, Renaud Fichez, Michel Warnau. Validation of two tropical marine bivalves as bioindicators of mining contamination in the New Caledonia lagoon: Field transplantation experiments. Water Research, IWA Publishing, 2011, 45 (2), pp.483-496. ⟨10.1016/j.watres.2010.09.002⟩. ⟨hal-00566717⟩

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