Resuspended contaminated sediments cause sublethal stress to oysters: a biomarker differentiates total suspended solids and contaminant effects

Katelyn J. Edge, Katherine A. Dafforn, Stuart L. Simpson, Amy H. Ringwood, Emma L. Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Resuspended contaminated sediments represent an important route of contaminant exposure for aquatic organisms. During resuspension events, filter-feeding organisms are exposed to contaminants, in both the dissolved form (at the gills) and the particulate form (in the digestive system). In addition, these organisms must manage the physical stress associated with an increase in total suspended solids (TSS). To date, few studies have experimentally compared the contributions to biological stress of contaminated and clean suspended solids. The authors mixed field-collected sediments (<63μm) from clean and contaminated field sites to create 4 treatments of increasing metal concentrations. Sydney rock oysters were then exposed to sediment treatments at different TSS concentrations for 4 d, and cellular biomarkers (lysosomal membrane stability, lipid peroxidation, and glutathione) were measured to evaluate sublethal toxicity. Lysosomal membrane stability was the most sensitive biomarker for distinguishing effects from resuspended contaminated sediments, as increasing amounts of contaminated TSS increased lysosomal membrane destabilization. The authors' results illustrate the importance of considering contaminant exposures from resuspended sediments when assessing the toxicity of contaminants to aquatic organisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1345-1353
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Volume34
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • resuspended sediments
  • total suspended solids
  • contaminated sediments
  • biomarkers
  • oysters

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