Marine molluscs in environmental monitoring III. Trace metals and organic pollutants in animal tissue and sediments

Tamar Feldstein, Yoel Kashman, Avigdor Abelson, Lev Fishelson, Ofer Mokady*, Vladimir Bresler, Yigal Erel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Concentrations of trace elements and organic pollutants were determined in marine sediments and molluscs from the Mediterranean and Red Sea coasts of Israel. Two bivalve species (Donax trunculus, Pteria aegyptia), two gastropod species (Patella caerulea, Cellana rota) and sediments were sampled at polluted and relatively clean, reference, sites. Along the Mediterranean coast of Israel, sediments and molluscs from Haifa Bay stations were enriched with both organic and trace element contaminants. In the Red Sea, differences between the polluted and reference sites were less pronounced. Bio-concentration factors indicate a significant concentration of Zn, As, Cd, Sn and Pb in animal tissue relative to the concentrations of these elements in the sediments. In contrast, Ce, La and U were not concentrated in molluscs. The trace element results indicate a saturation of the detoxification mechanisms in molluscs from polluted sites. The concentrations of organic pollutants at the same sites are at the lower range of values recorded in other studies. However, synergistic effects between these compounds and between them and metals can lead to acute toxicity.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)212-219
Number of pages8
JournalHelgoland Marine Research
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Oct 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements The authors wish to thank the German GKSS and Israeli MOST for the generous support of this research, performed within the framework of the German Israeli Cooperation in Marine Sciences (MARS 2 project). Thanks are also due to the Marine Biology Laboratory at the H. Steinitz Interuniversity Marine Institute, Elat, for hospitality and use of diving facilities. The experiments performed in this research conform with current laws and regulations of the state of Israel.


  • Bio-concentration
  • Chemical monitoring
  • Heavy metals
  • Marine pollution
  • Trace elements


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