In this study, we evaluated the possible role of Ligia italica as a bioindicator for the monitoring of heavy metals pollution in the suppralittoral zone of marine rocky coasts. Between 2004 and 2011 specimens of L. italica were collected along the Eastern Sicilian coasts from sites known for their high pollution levels as they are near to an area where in September 2001 a refinery plant discharged into the sea some waste containing Hg. Other specimens were collected from the Vendicari Natural Reserve located about 30 miles from the polluted sites and used as control area. On a consistent number of animals, the concentration in toto of As, Cd, Cr, Hg, Ni, Pb, V, was determined by Atomic Absorption Spectrometry. On other animals, investigations were carried out in order to check for ultrastructural alterations of the hepatopancreas, that is the main metals storage organ in isopods. Results revealed the presence, in the animals collected in 2004 from the polluted sites, of considerable concentrations of Hg and of lower concentrations of other metals such as As, Pb and V. The Hg bioaccumulation resulted in remarkable ultrastructural alterations of the two cellular types (B and S cells) in the epithelium of the hepatopancreas. Surprisingly, a moderate amount of Hg was also found in specimens collected in 2004 from the Vendicari Natural Reserve, proving that the Hg pollution can also spread many miles away. Animals collected from the polluted sites in the following years showed a progressively decreasing Hg content, reaching very low levels in those from the last sampling. Also, the ultrastructural alterations found in the hepatopancreas of the animals from the last sample were quite irrelevant. In conclusion, Ligia italica can represent a good bioindicator and the ultrastructure of the hepatopancreas could be used as ultrastructural biomarker of heavy metals pollution in the supralittoral zones.
|Titolo:||Ligia italica (Isopoda, Oniscidea) as Bioindicator of Mercury Pollution of Marine Rocky Coasts.|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2013|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|