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Abnormalities in bivalve larvae from the Puck Bay (Gulf of Gdansk, southern Baltic Sea) as an indicator of environmental pollution

Lasota, Rafal, Gierszewska, Katarzyna, Viard, Frédérique, Wolowicz, Maciej, Dobrzyn, Katarzyna, Comtet, Thierry
Marine pollution bulletin 2018 v.126 pp. 363-371
Cerastoderma glaucum, Mya arenaria, Mytilus trossulus, bioactive properties, deformation, environmental impact, larvae, plankton, postlarvae, tissues, toxic substances, water pollution, Baltic Sea
This study described the occurrence of abnormalities in bivalve larvae from the Puck Bay. Analyses of plankton samples collected in 2012–2013 showed that larval Mytilus trossulus, Mya arenaria, and Cerastoderma glaucum exhibited abnormalities that could indicate adverse environmental impacts. The deformities were mainly in shells, but missing soft tissue fragments and protruding vela were also noted. In addition to larval studies, we analyzed benthic postlarvae of Mytilus trossulus. Interestingly, grooves and notches at different locations of the prodissoconch, dissoconch, and shell margin were observed. Some of these deformations were reminiscent of the indentations found on the shell edge of larvae. Comparing the proportion of abnormal postlarvae to larvae with shell abnormalities suggested that the survival of larvae with shell abnormalities was low. Overall, our results suggested that the ratio of abnormal bivalve larvae could be used as an indicator of the biological effects of hazardous substances in the pelagic environment.