Heavy Metals Contamination Induces Oxygen Insufficiency Stress in Oysters

December 18, 2006 1:17pm CST
A recent study showed that oysters (Crassostrea virginica) exposed to high water temperatures and heavy metal pollutants suffer from stress induced by lack of oxygen. Cadmium, a common heavy metal pollutant, decreased oyster’s resistance to warmer waters, making it more vulnerable during the summer and to the rising ocean water temperatures. “Half of the oysters exposed to the pollutant in 28°C (82°F) water died within 20 days”, said Gisela Lannig of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar & Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany. “Oysters exposed to cadmium at lower temperatures showed much lower mortality rate, suggesting that the combination of high temperature and cadmium is more stressful than each of these conditions alone”, she said.
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