Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Marine bivalves, such as the clam Macoma balthica, concentrate metals in their tissues. The gap between metal deficiency and toxicity depends on two parameters: the total concentration and the various chemical species in which the elements exist. Thus, prior to studying the partitioning of metals inside an organism, it is necessary to measure their total concentrations. To this end, a complete sample treament procedure was established, including a detailed investigation of the digestion. The experiments were carried out with a certified reference material of the BCR, the CRM 278 of mussel tissue. Analyses of Cu, Cd and Fe were performed mainly by electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry and validated by inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry. The influence of time and place are revealed in the results. The concentrations of the three metals are always higher in the clams collected at Baalhoek than at Paulinapolder, correctly reflecting the ecological situation of the two stations (sea water concentrations, for instance). Furthermore, the average concentration of cadmium differs most significantly between the two sampling stations. For the three elements, the variation as a function of time exhibits a minimum value in summer, with iron showing the greatest seasonal dependence in each location, probably reflecting both the biological cycle of the bivalves and the external environment metal contents.

Additional information

Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: Symposium on Speciation of Elements in Environmental and Biological Sciences, Loen (NO), June 16-18, 1991
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper EN 36207 ORA
Record Number: 199110839 / Last updated on: 1994-12-02
Original language: en
Available languages: en
Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top