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Experimental and field studies on the effect of selected heavy metals on three freshwater sponge species: Ephydatia fluviatilis, Ephydatia muelleri and Spongilla lacustris
Richelle-Maurer, E.; Dejonghe, L.; Van de Vyver, G. (1993). Experimental and field studies on the effect of selected heavy metals on three freshwater sponge species: Ephydatia fluviatilis, Ephydatia muelleri and Spongilla lacustris. Belg. J. Zool. 123(Suppl. 1): 62
In: Belgian Journal of Zoology. Koninklijke Belgische Vereniging voor Dierkunde = Société royale zoologique de Belgique: Gent. ISSN 0777-6276, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 
    VLIZ: Proceedings 21/3 [57627]
Document types: Conference paper; Summary

Keywords
    Heavy metals; Sponges; Ephydatia fluviatilis (Linnaeus, 1759) [WoRMS]; Ephydatia muelleri (Lieberkühn, 1856) [WoRMS]; Spongilla lacustris (Linnaeus, 1759) [WoRMS]; Fresh water

Authors  Top 
  • Richelle-Maurer, E.
  • Dejonghe, L.
  • Van de Vyver, G.

Abstract
    The present work is the first study on the effect of metals on freshwater sponges, based on field and laboratory experiments. Three species, Ephydatiajluviatilis, E.muelleri and Spongilla lacustris were implanted in variously polluted natural sites. After one month, they showed a substantial vegetative growth in spite of high metal levels in water for Ba, Ca, Cr, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb or Zn, according to the site of transfer. The quantification of their metal content shows that at the end of the experiment, sponges have accumulated many heavy metals in a pattern related to metal distribution in the ambient water. EDS and WDS analyses have revealed that metals are not accumulated in the spicules but in the organic skeleton and living tissue. In vitro experiments, using a toxicity test developed in our laboratory, have established that Pb was more toxic than Cu and Zn and that S. lacustris was the least sensitive. These results show that in their natural habitat freshwater sponges can grow and even thrive at metal concentrations higher than the threshold concentration measured in the laboratory. This suggests the existence of detoxification mechanisms in sponges.

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