The role of salinity in the trophic transfer of 137 Cs in euryhaline fish

Abstract : In order to better understand the influence of changing salinity conditions on the trophic transfer of 137 Cs in marine fish that live in dynamic coastal environments, its depuration kinetics was investigated in controlled aquaria. The juvenile turbot Scophthalmus maximus was acclimated to three distinct salinity conditions (10, 25 and 38) and then single-fed with compounded pellets that were radiolabelled with 137 Cs. At the end of a 21-d depuration period, assimilation efficiencies (i.e. AEs = proportion of 137 Cs ingested that is actually assimilated by turbots) were determined from observational data acquired over the three weeks. Our results showed that AEs of 137 Cs in the turbots acclimated to the highest salinity condition were significantly lower than for the other conditions (p < 0.05). Osmoregulation likely explains the decreasing AE observed at the highest salinity condition. Indeed, observations indicate that fish depurate ingested 137 Cs at a higher rate when they increase ion excretion, needed to counterbalance the elevated salinity. Such data confirm that ambient salinity plays an important role in trophic transfer of 137 Cs in some fish species. Implications for such findings extend to seafood safety and climate change impact studies, where the salinity of coastal waters may shift in future years in response to changing weather patterns.
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Simon Pouil, François Oberhänsli, Peter Swarzenski, Paco Bustamante, Marc Metian. The role of salinity in the trophic transfer of 137 Cs in euryhaline fish. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, Elsevier, 2018, 189, pp.255-260. ⟨10.1016/j.jenvrad.2018.03.017⟩. ⟨hal-02014993⟩

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