Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 4759
Title: Effects of chemcial contaminants on growth, age-structure, and reproduction of Mytilus edulis complex from Puget Sound, Washington
Author: Anna N. Kagley, R. G. Snider, Edmundo Casillas
Publication Year: 2014
Journal: Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
Volume: 93
Issue: 1
Pages: 7-12
Keywords: Chemical contaminants,biomonitoring,mussel,growth,age-structure,reproduction

Bivalves are widely used as sentinel species to detect chemical contaminants in the marine environment, but biological effects on indigenous populations that result from chemical exposure are largely unknown.  We assessed age-weight and length-weight relationships, age structure, and reproductive status of the blue mussel from various sites in Puget Sound, WA.  Mussels from areas with sediment containing elevated concentrations of PAHs and PCBs exhibited high tissue burdens of these contaminants.  Age-weight relationships showed that the growth rate was lower in these mussels.  We also documented reduced fecundity in these populations.  Results of this study support the hyposthesis that mussels from urban areas of Puget Sound exhibit a lower grwoth rate, altered population age-structure, and potential reproductive impairment as a result of exposure to chemical contaminants.  These findings support the use of mussels as sentinel species to assess the biological effects of contaminants on invertebrate populations.

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Theme: Sustaining Marine Ecosystem and Human Health
Foci: Characterize the exposure risks and effects of pathogens, chemical contaminants, and biotoxins on human and marine animal health using sentinel species and biomedical models
Develop methods, technologies, and data integration tools to predict ocean-related public health risks into health early warning and ocean observing systems