A biomarker of contaminant exposure is effective in large scale assessment of ten estuaries

Katelyn J. Edge, Katherine A. Dafforn, Stuart L. Simpson, Anthony C. Roach, Emma L. Johnston (2014) A biomarker of contaminant exposure is effective in large scale assessment of ten estuaries. Chemosphere 100:16-26.

Abstract

Cost-effective and sensitive measures of anthropogenic stress are necessary tools in any environmental monitoring program. When implementing new monitoring tools in a region, rigorous laboratory and field studies are essential for characterizing the sensitivity and efficacy of the approach. We exposed the oysterSaccostrea glomerata to various individual contaminants through multiple exposure pathways (water- and food-borne) in the laboratory and measured two biomarker responses, lysosomal membrane stability (LMS) and lipid peroxidation (LPO). LMS was sensitive to both contaminant exposure pathways. We subsequently measured this biomarker in oysters which had been experimentally deployed at multiple sites in each of ten estuaries with varying levels of contamination associated with re-suspended sediments. There was a strong association between LMS and metal exposure, despite substantial natural variation in water quality parameters. Our results illustrate the potential use of LMS as a pragmatic indicator of biotic injury in environmental monitoring programs for re-suspended contaminated sediments.

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