Differences in performance and bioaccumulation of copper, metallothionein-like protein (MTLP) levels and resistance in Baltic clams, Macoma balthica, from Arctic, subarctic and temperate areas were determined during a stress period caused by starvation and exposure to copper. Although the conditions at the start were different, the losses of weight and mortality rates were in general comparable in clams from all areas. In contrast to expectation, the accumulation of copper in (sub)Arctic clams was much faster than in temperate specimens, whereas the level of MTLP in all populations hardly increased. Copper was primarily accumulated in insoluble form: MTLP has in clams no major role in copper sequestration. It is suggested that the differences in copper accumulation rates between populations might be related to genetic (racial) differentiation. [KEYWORDS: bioaccumulation; metal; copper; metallothionein; stress sensitivity; bivalve; Macoma balthica; Arctic bivalve macoma-balthica; metallothionein-like proteins; metal exposure; genetic adaptations; arctic populations; aquatic animals; southern limit; trace-metals; bioaccumulation; sensitivity]
Original languageEnglish
JournalVie et Milieu
Journal publication date2001

ID: 114775