Main content area

Heavy metal and other trace elements in native mussel Diplodon chilensis from Nothern Patagonia Lakes, Argentina

Ribeiro Guevara, S., Bubach, D., Vigliano, P., Lippolt, G., Arribére, M.
Biological trace element research 2004 v.102 no.1-3 pp. 245-263
antimony, arsenic, barium, bromine, calcium, chromium, cobalt, food chain, food webs, heavy metals, iron, lakes, mercury, mussels, national parks, pollutants, rare earth elements, selenium, silver, sodium, strontium, tracer techniques, water pollution, zinc, Argentina
Native mussels, Diplodon chilensis, were sampled from four lakes in Nahuel Huapi National Park, Northern Patagonia, Argentina in order to evaluate heavy-metal distribution in the region and to assess the contribution of this compartment of the trophic web to their circulation in the food chain. The concentration of potential pollutants Ag, As, Cr, Hg, Sb, and Se, and other nine elements of interest (Ba, Br, Ca, Co, Cs, Fe, Na, Sr, and Zn) were determined in Diplodon chilensis pooled samples. Digestive glands were analyzed separately from soft tissues. Geological tracers Sc, Ta, Th, and rare earth elements were also determined in order to discriminate lithophile contributions. Elemental concentrations of Ba, Br, Fe, Sr, Se, and Zn in total soft tissues samples do not show significant differences among sampling sites. Arsenic and Cr contents in total soft tissues and digestive gland pooled samples are higher in sampling points close to zones with human settlements. Silver contents in samples collected in Lake Nahuel Huapi were higher than in the other lakes studied, and up to 50-fold higher than the sample collected in Lake Traful, considered as the reference. Mercury highest concentration values measured in total soft tissues pooled samples from lakes Nahuel Huapi and Moreno were found to be similar to those observed in other reported Hg contamination situations, and they are three to five times higher than those of the reference samples collected in Lake Traful.