Acta Ichthyologica et Piscatoria 23(S): 115-132, doi: 10.3750/AIP1993.23.S.12
Preliminary studies on heavy metal contents in aquatic organisms from the Hornsund area, with a particular reference to the Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus (L.))
expand article infoM. Protasowicki, G. Morsy
Open Access
Contents of Hg, Cd, Pb, Cu, and Zn were determined in the wreck bladder, barnacles, gammarids, euphausiids, and the Arctic charr collected in the Hornsund area in 1985-1986. Mercury was determined with CV AAS, while the remaining metals were studied with FAAS. Mercury levels were found to increase up the food chain; levels of Cd, Pb, and Cu were decreasing, while the Zn remained relatively stable. The authors are of the opinion that, when studying heavy metals along trophic chains, the entire food of animals instead of isolated food items should be analyzed. Moreover, the need to follow changes in contents of the metals studied during migrations of the fish from one habitat to another is emphasized. Sex-related effects were detected in heavy metal levels in certain organs. Mechanisms of defence against toxic metals were found to be better developed in females than in males. Differences in Hg, Cd, Pb, Cu, and Zn levels in various organs notwithstanding, the metal contents in fish muscles were in the lower part of the ranges found.