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Epiphyte toxicity bioassay for ecotoxicological and coastal monitoring

AuthorsCrespo, Elena; Lozano, Pablo; Blasco, Julián ; Moreno-Garrido, Ignacio
Antioxidant enzymes
Issue DateAug-2014
CitationEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment 186(8): 4647-4654 (2014)
AbstractMarine epibionts are organisms that grow on submerged surfaces. Those found on seagrass leaves are especially important because of their interactions with the plants, their contribution to primary production in these ecosystems, and their role as food source for heterotrophic fauna. Given the relative lack of ecotoxicological studies on epibionts, the aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of environmental pollution on epiphytes experimentally attached to artificial devices (mimes) consisting of thermally-sealed silicone tubes supported on bamboo sticks that mimic the morphology of seagrasses and serve as an anchor surface for marine epibionts. Mimes were installed on the sea floor in subtidal waters of the Rio San Pedro (Cádiz), collected after 28 days, and incubated in the laboratory with environmental concentrations of atrazine (herbicide), Irgarol (anti-fouling substance), and copper. Tube-dwelling diatoms formed the major component of the epiphyte community. Average surface covering, chlorophyll, and biomass content did not show significant differences between controls and treatments. The glutathione peroxidase activity increased significantly with 4 μg L-1 of atrazine and 5 μg L-1 of copper. This enzymatic activity increase seems to be sufficient to prevent oxidative cellular damage by removing reactive oxygen substances produced by oxidative stress; in addition to this enzyme, there might be other antioxidant enzymes which have not been measured in this study, that have also protected the organism from oxidative damage. Thus, the measurement of antioxidant enzymatic activity in epiphytes may be a useful toxicity indicator for coastal biomonitoring. © 2014 Springer International Publishing.
Publisher version (URL)http://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-014-3725-6
Identifiersdoi: 10.1007/s10661-014-3725-6
issn: 0167-6369
e-issn: 1573-2959
Appears in Collections:(ICMAN) Artículos
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