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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS - Vol. 360 - Feature article
Benthic flatfishes such as the turbot Psetta maxima have been suggested as bioindicators of contaminants in marine systems. Photo: J.-L. Teyssié

Mathews T, Fisher NS, Jeffree RA, Teyssié JL


Assimilation and retention of metals in teleost and elasmobranch fishes following dietary exposure


Metal accumulation in marine fishes is of public health concern. Benthic fishes may be particularly susceptible to metal accumulation because of the relatively high metal content in their diet, and in the case of sharks, lower growth and ingestion rates and longer gut transit time. Mathews and colleagues used radioisotopes to compare the dietary assimilation and retention of 7 metals (Am, Cd, Co, Cr, Cs, Mn, Zn) in the shark Scyliorhinus canicula and the teleosts Psetta maxima and Sparus auratus. Despite the physiological differences between the 3 species, their assimilation efficiencies differed significantly only for the redox-sensitive metals Mn and Co; biomagnification of the metals considered is unlikely.


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