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Can shell alterations in limpets be used as alternative biomarkers of coastal contamination?

Gouveia, Nayara, Oliveira, Carolina R.M., Martins, Camila P., Maranho, Luciane A., Seabra Pereira, Camilo Dias, de Orte, Manoela R., Harayashiki, Cyntia A.Y., Almeida, Sérgio M., Castro, Italo B.
Chemosphere 2019 v.224 pp. 9-19
DNA damage, Gastropoda, biomarkers, coasts, elemental composition, environmental factors, estuaries, latitude, limpets, lipid peroxidation, morphometry, pollution, Brazil
The present study evaluated the association among traditional biochemical biomarkers with biometric, morphometric, and elemental composition of Lottia subrugosa (patelliform gastropod) shells from three multi-impacted coastal areas in Brazil. The study was carried out in Todos os Santos Bay (TSB), Santos/São Vicente Estuarine System (SESS) and Paranaguá Estuarine Complex (CEP), using three sampling sites to seek contamination gradients in each area. Results showed that all biomarkers evaluated responded to environmental contamination, regardless the presence (SESS and CEP) or absence (TSB) of a gradient of contamination. The responses found using biometric and morphometric parameters were consistent with the traditional biomarkers of exposure and effects (lipid peroxidation and DNA damage). Indeed, changes in elemental composition of L. subrugosa shells suggest that exposure to contaminated environments is probably responsible for the alterations detected. Despite the simplicity and lower cost of biometric and morphometric analyzes, these parameters are influenced by natural environmental conditions from which biases may arise. Therefore, these tools should be evaluated through experimental studies before it can be used in future assessments. However, the findings from the present study were observed in three aquatic systems distributed over a wide range of latitudes, which indicates that gastropod shells reflect effects resulting from environmental contamination.