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Environ Sci Pollut Res Int April 1, 2018; 25 (12): 11238-11251.

Seasonal assessment of biological indices, bioaccumulation, and bioavailability of heavy metals in sea urchins Paracentrotus lividus from Algerian west coast, applied to environmental monitoring.

Rouane-Hacene O , Boutiba Z , Benaissa M , Belhaouari B , Francour P , Guibbolini-Sabatier ME , Faverney CR .

The aim of the present work was to extend our knowledge on the variability of trace metals in sea urchin tissues, focusing on seasonal fluctuations (2010 February for "winter," May for "spring," August for "summer," November for "autumn") in the three different sampling sites of Algerian west coast (Oran Harbor (S1), Ain Defla (S2), and Hadjaj (belonging to Mostaganem City S3)). For this purpose, the bioavailability (metal indices) and bioaccumulation (metal concentrations in soft tissues) of heavy metals (Zn, Cu, Pb, and Cd), the physiological characteristics (e.g., biological indices such as condition index (CI), repletion index (RI), gonad index (GI)), and the biometric parameters (diameter (D) and the height (H)) of sea urchins Paracentrotus lividus were assessed and related to seasons and sites. To investigate the metal bioavailability to sea urchins more precisely, the metal indices were used as a reliable tool in the present work, instead of the metal concentrations only. The interest to standardize metal concentrations with the weight of the urchin test is to overcome the metal burden variations in the soft tissues of urchin related to the seasonal weight changes of the soft body of animal. We evidence that the most contaminated sites were S1 and S2. Furthermore, it should be noted that the bioavailability of metals, corresponding to the values of metal indices, is also more pronounced in S1 and S2 compared to that measured in S3. Thus, a correlation is observed between seasonal metal content in urchin tissues from the three sites and the corresponding metal indices. The high metal concentrations were obtained during the period when RI and CI were highest. So, it appears that the bioaccumulation of metals in sea urchins of the three sites studied is significantly influenced by the reproductive cycle and diet, feeding activity, and physiological state of these organisms. We noticed that the sea urchins from the sites S1 and S2 were small in size. It is probable that these animals, whose internal tissues contained high concentrations of metals, have been exposed to metal pollution, which might have affected both their growth and altered their physiological capacity. This approach is very original and might be used in the monitoring of the quality of coastal waters, and the present work provided a useful data set for Mediterranean monitoring network.

PubMed ID: 28397119
Article link: Environ Sci Pollut Res Int

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