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A study of the effects of copper applied continuously and discontinuously to specimens of Mytilus edulis (L.) exposed to steady and fluctuating salinity levels
Davenport, J. (1977). A study of the effects of copper applied continuously and discontinuously to specimens of Mytilus edulis (L.) exposed to steady and fluctuating salinity levels. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 57(1): 63-74
In: Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Cambridge University Press/Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom: Cambridge. ISSN 0025-3154, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Copper; Indicator species; Pollution effects; Pollution monitoring; Salinity effects; Mytilus edulis Linnaeus, 1758 [WoRMS]; Marine

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  • Davenport, J., more

Abstract
    The survival and behaviour of specimens of M. edulis exposed to discontinuous and continuous copper regimes was investigated in both fluctuating salinity conditions and in constant full strength sea water. Continuous 0.5 and 0.25 ppm added copper caused damage to mussels within 1-2 days; the M. L. T. for 0.5 ppm Cu 2+ was about 2 days, for 0.25 ppm Cu 2+ 4-5 days. In full strength sea water a 6 h off 0.5 ppm Cu 2+ regime caused no damage at all in 5 days and it was found that this was because Mytilus can detect copper in its environment and close its shell valves to avoid the detrimental consequences of exposure to copper. In fluctuating salinity regimes it was found that the timing of copper delivery was extremely important; animals survived copper delivery occurring at low or falling salinities because of interacting closure responses to copper and low salinities, It is suggested that these results cast doubt upon the usefulness of Mytilus, and other animals which possess similar closure mechanisms, in the role of a biological pollutant monitoring system.

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