1063-0740/05/3103- © 2005 Pleiades Publishing, Inc.
Russian Journal of Marine Biology, Vol. 31, No. 3, 2005, pp. 176–180.
Original Russian Text Copyright © 2005 by Biologiya Morya, Davydkova, Fadeeva, Kovekovdova, Fadeev.
Municipal and anthropogenic inputs into the ports of
Peter the Great Bay have led to foci of local- and
regional-scale pollution where the natural course of bio-
logical processes is disturbed . Here, the content of
heavy metals in the bottom sediments, pore water, and
near-bottom water is far higher than in the water column
[17, 28]. High environmental levels of heavy metals
cause metal accumulation by aquatic organisms .
Study of heavy metal accumulation by bottom
organisms and metal toxicity in the biota is part of the
study of pollution effects on aquatic ecosystems. Up to
now, the interaction of bottom biota and pollutants (par-
ticularly heavy metals) has largely been examined for
microorganisms [12, 15], phyto- and zooplankton ,
and seston-feeding [8, 15] and fouling organisms [4, 5].
Small representatives of the infauna have not been
investigated [1, 28] in this respect. Polychaetes and
round worms are the major functional components of
the biota in the bottom sediments. They can build up a
signiﬁcant biomass and play an important role in the
transformation of organic compounds of the sea bottom
[7, 18]. However, the mechanism of the effect of pollu-
tion on the metabolism and numbers of marine bottom
communities is inadequately known.
The aim of this study was to determine the heavy
metals contents in the tissues of dominant species of the
benthos and in the bottom sediments of chronically pol-
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Samples of silt sediments were collected in 2000–
2003 in Zolotoi Rog Bay (Sea of Japan) near the port of
Vladivostok from the 13 m depth at Wharf no. 44. Ani-
mals were collected from samples in Zolotoi Rog Bay
and Vostok Bay in 2003.
Sediment samples were washed with seawater
through gauze (mesh size 0.1
0.1 mm). Sediment was
placed in petri dishes and examined, by parts, under a
stereomicroscope for the presence of bottom worm.
Worms were isolated and sorted into species. Two to
100 specimens (lengths of 9–100 mm) of each species
were taken for heavy metal analyses. To remove sedi-
ment particles, the worms were washed with seawater
and then placed for 1–4 days in separate vessels with
ﬁltered seawater to purge the intestine.
For each species, the measurements of the heavy
metal concentrations were made in three samples with
the number of worms depending on their size. For
atomic absorption analysis, worm samples were pre-
pared using the method of acid mineralization accord-
ing to standard procedure GOST 26929-94 . Wet tis-
Heavy Metal Contents in Tissues of Dominant Species
of the Benthos and in Bottom Sediments of Zolotoi Rog Bay,
Sea of Japan
I. L. Davydkova
, N. P. Fadeeva
, L. T. Kovekovdova
, and V. I. Fadeev
Far Eastern State University,
Vladivostok, 690000 Russia
Paciﬁc Fisheries Research Center,
Vladivostok, 690600 Russia
Institute of Marine Biology, Far East Division,
Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladivostok, 690041 Russia
Received September 17, 2004
—Data on heavy metal contents in polychaetes and free-living nematodes inhabiting the bottom sed-
iments of Zolotoi Rog Bay near the port of Vladivostok are reported. Chronically high contents of heavy metals
(Fe, Cu, Zn, and Cd) were found in the bottom sediments and in the infauna. The levels of some toxic elements
in tissues of the polychaete
Dorvillea (Schistomeringos) japonica
inhabiting polluted sediments of Zolotoi Rog
Bay were higher than in worms of this species from relatively clean areas of the Sea of Japan. Similar high con-
centrations of Fe were found in the polychaete
and the nematode
The highest concentrations of Fe, Zn, Cu, and Cd were found in tissues of the free-living nematode
Chronic heavy pollution of the bottom sediments leads to a decrease in the biodiversity of the infauna and to
speciﬁc metal-tolerant communities.
Polychaetes, free-living nematodes, bottom sediments, heavy metals, atomic absorption.