1063-0740/05/3102- © 2005 Pleiades Publishing, Inc.
Russian Journal of Marine Biology, Vol. 31, No. 2, 2005, pp. 109–114.
Original Russian Text Copyright © 2005 by Biologiya Morya, Kavun, Shul’kin.
Of the chemicals brought into coastal waters by
anthropogenic activity, heavy metal–containing com-
pounds are of particular importance as they can remain
biologically active for an inﬁnitely long time as
opposed to organic contaminants. Heavy metal interac-
tion with the organism depends to a great extent on
peculiarities of the metabolism. These, in turn, show up
in adaptational detoxicational biochemical reactions,
whose efﬁciency determines the organism’s resistance
to toxicants . A number of experimental toxicologi-
cal studies have shown that the resistance of hydro-
bionts to a high metal concentration increases if they
were preacclimatized in an environment with lower
metal concentrations [8, 13, 17, 15]. This effect was
termed induced tolerance. It is believed to also occur
under natural conditions in areas with metal concentra-
tions heightened due to natural events [12, 16].
The biochemical mechanisms of enhanced resis-
tance to metal action are diverse. The most important of
them include synthesis of metallothioneins, which are
believed to play a crucial role in maintaining tolerance
to heavy metal action ; changes in the transport
properties of cell membranes ; synthesis of metal-
resistant enzymes and element deposition in granules
; etc. The response to the metal concentration
increase also includes metal redistribution among
organs , characterizing the balance between metal
accumulation and elimination (detoxication).
The present study deals with the dynamics of Fe,
Mn, Zn, Cu, Pb, Cd, and Ni redistribution in the Gray
transplanted from (con-
ditionally) uncontaminated sites with various metal
concentrations to a biotope with an anomalously high
concentration of certain metals of anthropogenic origin
both in the suspended matter and in the bottom sedi-
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Acclimatization experiments were conducted in
Gornostai Bight, adjacent to the rubbish dump in the
vicinity of Vladivostok (see ﬁgure). The coastal waters
and bottom sediments in the bight are contaminated
with Fe, Zn, and Cd, and, more severely, with Cu and
Pb [1, 9, 18–20]. Another reason for choosing this bight
for the present experiments was the presence of perma-
nent Gray mussel settlements.
The experiments were performed in August and
September 1999. Over 100 equal-sized mussels, col-
lected in (conditionally) uncontaminated sites (station 1
off Reineke Island and station 2 off Bol’shoi Pelis
Island), were put into mesh containers and placed at a
6-m depth at station 3 in Gornostai Bight (see ﬁgure).
Once a decade, ﬁve mussels were sampled from each
container. They were dissected, and their organs (mus-
cle, gills, mantle, digestive gland, and kidneys) were
isolated to be further processed as separate samples.
The experiment lasted 60 days. In the beginning, mus-
Changes in the Microelement Composition in Organs and Tissues
of the Bivalve
Acclimatized in a Biotope
with Long-Term Heavy Metal Contamination
V. Ya. Kavun
and V. M. Shul’kin
Institute of Marine Biology, Far East Division, Russian Academy of Sciences,
Vladivostok, 690041 Russia
Far Eastern Geological Institute, Far East Division, Russian Academy of Sciences,
Vladivostok, 690041 Russia
Received April 22, 2004
—This paper deals with changes in the Fe, Zn, Cu, Cd, Mn, Pb, and Ni concentration in the muscle,
gonad, mantle, gills, digestive gland, and kidneys of Gray mussels transplanted from two sites differing in the
extent of metal contamination to a biotope with the impact from anthropogenic conditions in the course of their
acclimatization. The rate of metal accumulation depended on the initial element concentration in the mussel
organs. An abrupt change in the metal concentration in the environment was followed by a disturbance in the
microelement balance in some organs. The microelement metabolism was shown to depend on mussel pread-
aptation to a changeable environment.
heavy metals, acclimatization, mussel, Sea of Japan.