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Title: Reproductive effects of heavy metals on the rough periwinkle Littorina saxatilis (Mollusca: Prosobranchia)
Authors: Daka, Erema R.
Hawkins, S. J.
Keywords: Littorina saxatilis
Isle of Man
heavy metals
size at birth
embryo abnormality
Issue Date: Sep-2002
Publisher: CSIR
Abstract: The effects of chronic mine-related heavy metal contamination on reproduction of Littorina saxatilis from sites around the Isle of Man were assessed. Size at birth of young, reproductive output (i.e. number of embryos in brood pouch) and frequencies of abnormal embryos in the brood pouch were examined in animals from five sites. Laxey estuary was the most contaminated compared to other sites with less contamination (Peel) and relatively uncontaminated control sites (Castletown, Ramsey estuaries and the open coast near Derbyhaven). The size at birth of young ranged from 0.365-0.876 mm and the lowest mean size at birth (0.517 + 0.048 mm) was found in the animals from Laxey estuary. Those from Derbyhaven had the highest mean size at birth (0.632 + 0.063 mm). ANOVA showed a significant difference in mean size at birth of young, between individuals from the five sites (p<0.0001). However, the individuals from Laxey also had the highest absolute mean count of embryos in their brood pouch implying that there might be some trade-off between reproductive output and size of young as a result of metal contamination. No heavy metal related differences in embryo abnormality were apparent. Rather, a high proportion of abnormal embryos in animals from Derbyhaven suggested that disease conditions, genetic factors or unidentified toxins might account for the differences observed.
Page(s): 218-224
ISSN: 0379-5136
Source:IJMS Vol.31(3) [September 2002]

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