• H. Hummel
  • R. Modderman
  • C. Amiard-Triquet
  • F. Rainglet
  • Y. Van Duijn
  • M. Herssevoort
  • J.H. De Jong
  • R.H. Bogaards
  • G. Bachelet
  • M. Desprez
  • J. Marchand
  • B. Sylvand
  • J.C. Amiard
  • H. Rybarczyk
  • L. De Wolf
The relation between condition and copper concentration was assessed in three bivalve species (the Baltic clam Macoma balthica, the cockle Cerastoderma edule and the mussel Mytilus edulis) from several Dutch and French estuaries. In general, the copper concentration in the bivalves was negatively related to condition. The slope of this relation was strongest in the Baltic clam M. balthica, with an almost inversely proportional change of Cu concentration at a change of condition, indicating an almost constant Cu content (body burden) per individual, i.e. no elimination or accumulation of Cu. In the mussel M. edulis, the slope of this relation was absent or the weakest, with an almost uniform Cu concentration at a change of condition, indicating an almost proportional elimination (or accumulation) of Cu at a decrease (or increase) of the condition. Thus in Baltic clams the copper body burden is kept at an almost constant level, whereas in mussels the copper concentration is almost constant. In Baltic clams, but not in mussels and cockles, spatial differences were related to copper concentrations in the sediment. It is discussed that mussels maintain a homeostatic Cu concentration within a short time- period (days; copper highly exchangeable by complexation to metallothioneins), whereas the Cu concentration in Baltic clams is more slowly regulated (several weeks; fossilization of copper in mineral granules) and remains on an average in (partitioning) equilibrium with the Cu concentration in the sediment. Therefore, the Baltic clam is a better indicator of sediment copper pollution than the commonly used mussel. In addition, the observed differences between species were compared with differences in their life-strategies. The Cu concentration in the sediment is strongly related to the silt fraction (
Original languageEnglish
JournalAquatic Toxicology
Journal publication date1997

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