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Adaptation of the polychaete Nereis diversicolor to estuarine sediments containing high concentrations of heavy metals: 1. General observations and adaptation to copper
Bryan, G.W.; Hummerstone, L.G. (1971). Adaptation of the polychaete Nereis diversicolor to estuarine sediments containing high concentrations of heavy metals: 1. General observations and adaptation to copper. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 51(4): 845-863. hdl.handle.net/10.1017/S0025315400018014
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
    Adaptation; Concentration; Copper; Heavy metals; Sediments; Nereis diversicolor Müller, 1776 [WoRMS]; Polychaeta [WoRMS]; Brackish water

Authors  Top 
  • Bryan, G.W.
  • Hummerstone, L.G.

Abstract
    The concentration of copper in Nereis diversicolor O. F. Miiller is roughly related to the total concentration in the sediment and particularly high concentrations are found where mining pollution occurs. In contrast, the concentration of zinc in Nereis remains remarkably constant despite wide variations in the environment and appears to be accurately regulated.In worms from different estuaries concentrations of copper have been related to those of the sediments, sediment extracts and interstitial water at different stations, and the influence of salinity and size of animal has also been considered. The relative importance of the absorption of copper via the gut or across the body surface is still uncertain, but uptake over the body surface appears to be important and in high-copper animals from polluted areas much of the metal is deposited in the epidermis of the body wall and in parts of the nephridia.High-copper animals survive in polluted areas because they have developed a tolerance to the toxic effects of copper which is neither readily lost, nor readily gained by nontolerant animals. The situation may be similar to that found on old mine dumps where populations of metal-tolerant land-plants have evolved.

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