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Beyond the mean: A comparison of trace- and macroelement correlation profiles of two lacustrine populations of the crayfish Procambarus clarkii

Mancinelli, Giorgio, Papadia, Paride, Ludovisi, Alessandro, Migoni, Danilo, Bardelli, Roberta, Fanizzi, Francesco Paolo, Vizzini, Salvatrice
The Science of the total environment 2018 v.624 pp. 1455-1466
Procambarus clarkii, barium, body size, cadmium, calcium, carbon, chromium, condition factor, copper, crayfish, detritus, geochemistry, indicator species, iron, lakes, lead, magnesium, manganese, nickel, nitrogen, omnivores, phenotype, pollution, potassium, sediments, sodium, stable isotopes, strontium, tissues, vanadium, zinc, Italy
In invertebrate biomonitors of chemical pollution, emphasis has been generally given to mean accumulation patterns and how they reflect varying environmental levels of contamination. Intra-population variability, and how it relates with individual phenotypic traits, has received less attention. Here, a set of analytes including trace elements (B, Ba, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Li, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sr, V, and Zn), macroelements (C, Ca, K, Mg, N, Na), and carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes (δ¹³C and δ¹⁵N) was measured in two populations of the crayfish Procambarus clarkii from Lake Trasimeno and Lake Bolsena (Central Italy). The influence of location, sex, body size, and condition factor was assessed; in addition, the analyte correlation profiles of the two populations were compared to verify their congruence. In general, significant inter-lake differences were observed in the concentration of both trace- and macroelements in crayfish tissues, generally mirroring the local chemistry of water and of benthic non-living matrices (sediment and plant detritus). Crayfish CN isotopic signatures excluded the occurrence of inter-lake variations in their omnivorous trophic habits. Correlation profiles varied considerably between the two populations in the nature and strength of bivariate relationships. However, Mantel tests and procrustean analyses indicated a general, significant congruence; C, N, and, to a lesser extent K, Li, Ni, Pb, and δ¹³C showed the highest procrustean residuals, suggesting that their associations with other analytes may be partially influenced by inter-population differences in growing phases. Our study indicates that the local geochemistry of the lacustrine environment influences the elemental fingerprint of Procambarus clarkii; the considerable inter-individual variability in the concentration of analytes, however, does not significantly reflect on their association, thus corroborating its effectiveness as an indicator species.