You are here:
SURVEY OF OYSTERS CRASSOSTREA VIRGINICA FROM TAMPA BAY, FLORIDA: ASSOCIATIONS OF INTERNAL DEFENSE MEASUREMENTS WITH CONTAMINANT BURDENS
Fisher, W S., L M. Oliver, J T. Winstead, AND E. R. Long. SURVEY OF OYSTERS CRASSOSTREA VIRGINICA FROM TAMPA BAY, FLORIDA: ASSOCIATIONS OF INTERNAL DEFENSE MEASUREMENTS WITH CONTAMINANT BURDENS. AQUATIC TOXICOLOGY 51(1):115-138, (2000).
Oysters from 16 sites in Tampa Bay, Florida, were collected during a 6-week period in winter 1993 and analyzed for both biological characteristics and tissue chemical concentrations. Using previous sediment contamination and toxicity data, oyster tissues from the selected sites were expected to exhibit a wide range in both quantity and type of chemicals. Chemical analysis showed tissue concentrations at some of these sites to be greater than national averages, as reported by the National Status and Trends Mussel Watch Program, for total PAH, total PCB, total chlordanes, DDT, Cu, Pb and Zn. Measures of oysters internal defense, including hemocyte density, rate of locomotion and superoxide generation, varied significantly among sites and were generally higher at sites with higher tissue concentrations of xenobiotic chemicals. Potential associations between oyster defense characteristics and accumulated chemical contaminants, either singly or in chemical classes, were explored using correlation analysis and a composited ranking procedure. Positive relationships were found for hemocyte characteristics with certain trace metal (Cu, Sn and Zn) and PAH analytes, whereas negative relationships were found with certain PCB and pesticide analytes. Heightened defenses in contaminated conditions may reflect a hemocyte process for sequestration and detoxification of environmental contaminants. Oysters from four of the 16 sites were additionally collected in June and September 1993 and site-related differences did not closely parallel those obtained in winter. Seasonal environmental factors may have altered contaminant-related differences among sites.