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Heavy metal bioconcentration factors in the burrowing crab Neohelice granulata of a temperate ecosystem in South America: Bahía Blanca estuary, Argentina

Simonetti, Pía, Botté, Sandra Elizabeth, Marcovecchio, Jorge Eduardo
Environmental science and pollution research international 2018 v.25 no.34 pp. 34652-34660
adults, bioaccumulation factor, cadmium, chromium, copper, crabs, detection limit, ecosystems, estuaries, females, heavy metals, iron, lead, littoral zone, males, manganese, nickel, pollutants, sediments, tissues, trophic levels, zinc, Argentina
An extensive population of the burrowing crab, Neohelice granulata, inhabits the intertidal areas of the Bahía Blanca estuary, a moderately polluted temperate ecosystem located to the southwest of the province of Buenos Aires, Argentina. In order to determine the metal-accumulating ability of this species, concentrations of Cd, Cu, Pb, Ni, Zn, Mn, Cr, and Fe in soft tissues of adult specimens were measured. Subsequently, the bioconcentration factors (BCFs) of all heavy metals were determined using levels of concentrations previously obtained in intertidal sediments. The results showed concentrations above the detection limit in soft tissues of male and female crabs for all metals except Pb and Cr. BCF > 1 were obtained for Cd, Cu, and Zn, indicating that these metals are accumulated and biomagnified. However, BCF values < 1 were found for the rest of the metals (Mn, Ni, and Fe). The findings of metal accumulation in soft tissues of N. granulata is of great importance taking into account that this is a key species within this temperate ecosystem, playing a major role in the transference of pollutants to higher trophic levels.