Short-Term and Long-Term Biological Effects of Chronic Chemical Contamination on Natural Populations of a Marine Bivalve

Abstract : Understanding the effects of chronic chemical contamination on natural populations of marine organisms is complex due to the combined effects of different types of pollutants and environmental parameters that can modulate the physiological responses to stress. Here, we present the effects of a chronic contamination in a marine bivalve by combining multiple approaches that provide information on individual and population health. We sampled variegated scallops (Mimachlamys varia) at sites characterized by different contaminants and contamination levels to study the short and long-term (intergenerational) responses of this species to physiological stress. We used biomarkers (SOD, MDA, GST, laccase, citrate synthase and phosphatases) as indicators of oxidative stress, immune system alteration, mitochondrial respiration and general metabolism, and measured population genetic diversity at each site. In parallel, concentration of 14 trace metals and 45 organic contaminants (PAHs, PCBs, pesticides) in tissues were measured. Scallops were collected outside and during their reproductive season to investigate temporal variability in contaminant and biomarker levels. Our analyses revealed that the levels of two biomarkers (Lac-case-type phenoloxidase and malondialdehyde) were significantly correlated with Cd concentration. Additionally, we observed significant seasonal differences for four of the five biomarkers, which is likely due to the scallop reproductive status at time of sampling. As a source of concern, a location that was identified as a reference site on the basis of inorganic contaminant levels presented the same level of some persistent organic pollutants (DDT and its metabolites) than more impacted sites. Finally, potential long-term effects of heavy metal contamination were observed for variegated scallops as genetic diversity was depressed in the most polluted sites.
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Marine Breitwieser, Amélia Viricel, Marianne Graber, Laurence Murillo, Vanessa Becquet, et al.. Short-Term and Long-Term Biological Effects of Chronic Chemical Contamination on Natural Populations of a Marine Bivalve. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2016, 11, pp.150184 - 150184. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0150184⟩. ⟨hal-01393128⟩

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