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Copper mine tailings disposal: consequences for the interstitial polychaete Saccocirrus sonomacus (Canalipalpata: Protodrilida)
Lee, M.R.; Correa, J.A. (2004). Copper mine tailings disposal: consequences for the interstitial polychaete Saccocirrus sonomacus (Canalipalpata: Protodrilida). J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 84(3): 603-606
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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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Lee, M.R.
  • Correa, J.A.

Abstract
    The hypothesis investigated in this paper is that the interstitial polychaete Saccocirrus sonomacus is excluded from beaches impacted by tailing disposal as a result of the blocking of the interstitial space and not by a response to the toxicity of elevated copper concentrations. Field evidence suggested that abundances of S. sonomacus on beaches where they would be expected to occur under natural conditions are lower when a beach has received a significant amount of tailings. In choice experiments, S. sonomacus always preferred an open coarse sand matrix to one where the interstitial spaces had been blocked by fine sand (a tailings substitute). Using in vitro bioassays, we found that the LC50 for S. sonomacus with copper was 44 µg Cu-1, this being higher than the values of interstitial labile copper measured on the beaches investigated in this study. We therefore accept the hypothesis of a physically mediated exclusion rather than a toxically mediated one.

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