Evaluation and comparison of trace metals accumulation in different tissues of potential bioindicator organisms: Macrobenthic filter feeders Styela plicata, sabella spallanzanii and Mytilus galloprovincialis

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Trace metal concentrations were measured in different tissues of Sabella spallanzanii, Styela plicata and Mytilus galloprovincialis collected in Termini Imerese harbor, located in Sicily (Italy), in order to evaluate the potential use of these species as bioindicators. The higher bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) were calculated in tube of Sabella spallanzanii, except for As which shows the higher BAF in branchial crown of the same specie. Regarding the other species analyzed, higher BAFs were found in the digestive gland of Mytilus galloprovincialis. An exception is represented by Pb that is significantly more concentrated in branchial basket and tunic of Styela plicata. The BAFs here calculated, show that all the species analyzed are able to accumulate a certain amount of metals as a consequence of filter feeding mechanisms, and thus assess the suitability of the species Styela plicata, Sabella spallanzanii and Mytilus galloprovincialis as indicators of water quality. Particularly, the tube of Sabella spallanzanii is an important compartment in metal retention and the more suitable for the evaluation of the contamination caused by trace elements. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 2016


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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