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Are native naiads more tolerant to pollution than exotic freshwater bivalve species? An hypothesis tested using physiological responses of three species transplanted to mercury contaminated sites in the Ebro River (NE, Spain)

AuthorsFaria, Melissa ; López, Miguel Ángel; Díez, Sergi ; Barata Martí, Carlos
KeywordsZebra mussel
Asian clam
Freshwater mussels
Antioxidant defences
Oxidative stress
Issue Date2010
CitationChemosphere 82(10) : 1218-1226 (2010)
AbstractIn the lower Ebro River exist the paradoxical convergence of relatively well preserved river dynamics with the historical presence of a chloralkali plant with a long history of mercury discharges and the recent invasion of foreign bivalves species. Here we performed a comparative study on two alien bivalves, the Zebra mussel and the Asian clam (Dreissena polymorpha and Corbicula fluminea), and one protected species of naiads (Psilunio littoralis), which is the most common species of the freshwater mussel assemblages in this river. Individuals of the three species were transplanted to three sites that included a clean unpolluted upstream site, a contaminated location next to the mercury source and a downstream one. The study focused on digestive gland antioxidant and oxidative stress responses such as antioxidant enzymes, glutathione S transferase, glutathione levels, metallothionein proteins, DNA strand breaks and lipid peroxidation levels. Results evidenced interspecies differences on accumulation levels of mercury, antioxidant defensive systems and oxidative tissue damage. The naiad species, despite of accumulating more mercury showed the greatest antioxidant defensive potential, which was characterized by having high constitutive activities of glutathione S transferase and inducible activities and levels of key antioxidant enzymes and glutathione. Exposed individuals of C. fluminea had moderate levels of metal accumulation, the highest activities of antioxidant enzymes but also high levels of lipid peroxidation. D. polymorpha mussels showed the lowest levels of mercury but the lowest antioxidant responses and consequently the highest levels of oxidative injuries in the DNA and of mortality. Our results support the hypothesis that naiad species might be more tolerant to pollution than exotic species.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2010.09.037
Appears in Collections:(IDAEA) Artículos
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