Searching for bioaccumulation patterns in aquatic biota

Australasian Society for Ecotoxicology
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australasian Journal of Ecotoxicology, 2006, 12 (1), pp. 29 - 35
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The following two `framing questions are being pursued with regard to increasing understanding of the bioaccumulation of metals and radionuclides in marine and freshwater biota, viz; i) Are there general underlying chemical principles that can explain and predict their patterns of bioaccumulation? and ii) Are there modes of bioaccumulation that are characteristic of particular phylogenetic groupings of organisms? With regard to question i), a relationship has been established between the rate of accumulation of a metal and its relative solubility as a phosphate for calcium phosphate deposits. This relationship has been found for the ?esh of several species of freshwater bivalves, where metals are predominantly deposited in extracellular granules, and more recently in the osteoderms (dermal bones) of the freshwater crocodile Crocodylus johnstoni. The constancy of this relationship, among contrasting Ca accumulation regimes associated with divergent taxa, points to a potential underlying principle that warrants investigation in a greater range of biota.
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