Scientia Marina, Vol 81, No 2 (2017)

Enhanced trace element concentrations in tissues of the clam Ruditapes decussatus transplanted to areas influenced by human activities (Ria Formosa, Portugal)

Maria João Botelho
IPMA, Portuguese Institute for the Sea and Atmosphere - CIIMAR, Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research, University of Porto, Portugal

Sara T. Costa
IPMA, Portuguese Institute for the Sea and Atmosphere, Portugal

Domitília Matias
IPMA, Portuguese Institute for the Sea and Atmosphere - CIIMAR, Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research, University of Porto, Portugal

Florbela Soares
IPMA, Portuguese Institute for the Sea and Atmosphere, Portugal

Sandra Joaquim
IPMA, Portuguese Institute for the Sea and Atmosphere - CIIMAR, Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research, University of Porto, Portugal

Carlos Vale
CIIMAR, Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research, University of Porto, Portugal


To examine the extent to which human activities near the Ria Formosa coastal lagoon influence the accumulation of trace elements (TE) in Ruditapes decussatus, individuals were transplanted from a natural bank located in the lower lagoon to three sites located in clam growth grounds under the influence of a small city (Faro), a fish farming centre (Olhão) and a site near the lagoon inlet (Lavajo). Concentrations were determined in substrate of the clam grounds and in the digestive gland, gills, mantle plus siphons, and remaining tissues of clams in four periods of the year. These measurements were accomplished with the monthly survey of the gametogenic stages, condition index, proteins, glycogen, total lipids, pH and osmolarity of hemolymph. Arsenic, Cu, Mn, V, Cr and Pb were preferentially linked to the digestive gland, while Cd was linked to the gills. TE concentrations in the digestive gland and remaining tissues were higher in winter, most likely reflecting additional inputs associated with rain. The lack of disruptions in biological parameters and the prolonged period of spawning and gonad recovery in clams suggest that the current TE availability in the lagoon has a minor influence on the reproductive cycle and hence on clam production.


trace elements; biological parameters; Ruditapes decussatus; Ria Formosa

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