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Heavy Metal Absorbance and Proximity to Fresh Water Inputs by Arcuatula senhousia in Mission Bay

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Urban run-off constitutes a major source of anthropogenic metals input into estuarine systems which impacts coastal ecosystems and organisms. The toxic effects of both water and sediment pollution results in alterations of fecundity and survival of the biota. Mussels are good proxies for monitoring heavy metal inputs into marine ecosystems. Arcuatula senhousia is an invasive benthic species of bivalve with a lifespan of 1 to 2 years that lives in Mission Bay, an estuary located in a heavily populated area of San Diego, California. The focus of this study is on the absorbance of three specific metals (copper, lead and zinc) within the tissue of A. senhousia. Three sample locations were determined based on proximity to a known anthropogenic input source; specifically, Rose Creek and were sampled down an environmental gradient. Sediment samples and A. senhousia samples were collected from the three stations utilizing an Ekman grab. Following tissue dissection and desiccation, sediment samples and tissue samples were analyzed for metals on an X-Ray Fluorescence machine. The results show higher concentrations of metals near the point source and overall decreasing concentrations along the environmental gradient. In addition, particle size distributions show decreasing metals concentrations with increasing particle size. The result of this study shows the importance of long term metals analyses of marine ecosystems; specifically, studies utilizing bivalve proxies and also indicate the need for analyzing the metals concentrations of the water column in addition to the benthic environment.

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Heavy Metal Absorbance and Proximity to Fresh Water Inputs by Arcuatula senhousia in Mission Bay

Urban run-off constitutes a major source of anthropogenic metals input into estuarine systems which impacts coastal ecosystems and organisms. The toxic effects of both water and sediment pollution results in alterations of fecundity and survival of the biota. Mussels are good proxies for monitoring heavy metal inputs into marine ecosystems. Arcuatula senhousia is an invasive benthic species of bivalve with a lifespan of 1 to 2 years that lives in Mission Bay, an estuary located in a heavily populated area of San Diego, California. The focus of this study is on the absorbance of three specific metals (copper, lead and zinc) within the tissue of A. senhousia. Three sample locations were determined based on proximity to a known anthropogenic input source; specifically, Rose Creek and were sampled down an environmental gradient. Sediment samples and A. senhousia samples were collected from the three stations utilizing an Ekman grab. Following tissue dissection and desiccation, sediment samples and tissue samples were analyzed for metals on an X-Ray Fluorescence machine. The results show higher concentrations of metals near the point source and overall decreasing concentrations along the environmental gradient. In addition, particle size distributions show decreasing metals concentrations with increasing particle size. The result of this study shows the importance of long term metals analyses of marine ecosystems; specifically, studies utilizing bivalve proxies and also indicate the need for analyzing the metals concentrations of the water column in addition to the benthic environment.