Physiological and behavioral responses to Cu exposure were measured in the Baltic clam Macoma balthica from the Gulf of Gdansk, southern Baltic Sea. The burrowing activity, mortality rate, glycogen content, condition index and free amino acid (FAA) composition were analysed as indicators of stress in a series of field and laboratory studies. M. balthica exposed to Cu showed clear Cu-concentration related differences in burrowing activity and mortality rate, but no consistent differences in the condition index, glycogen content, and free amino acids. The clams from a less polluted area reacted more strongly and were more sensitive to additional stress as compared to organisms from a more polluted region. The effect of Cu on the ecophysiology of Baltic clams in the field was probably obscured by reproduction-related changes in the organism. The role of sediment as a potential source of Cu in the Baltic clam was discussed. [KEYWORDS: stress; copper; ecophysiology; Macoma balthica; Baltic Sea Wadden sea; metals; sediments; estuaries; netherlands; speciation; extraction; indicator; bivalves; diatoms]
Original languageEnglish
JournalOceanologica Acta
Journal publication date1999

ID: 133886