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Biological responses to contaminants in the Humber Estuary: disentangling complex relationships

Hardege, J. D.; Greenway, G. M.; Gomez, J. C.; Garcia-Alonso, J.; García-Alonso, J.; Greenway, Gillian; Munshi, A.; Gómez, J.C.; Mazik, K.; Knight, A. W.; Hardege, Jorg; Elliott, M.

Authors

J. D. Hardege

G. M. Greenway

J. C. Gomez

J. Garcia-Alonso

J. García-Alonso

Gillian Greenway G.M.Greenway@hull.ac.uk

A. Munshi

J.C. Gómez

A. W. Knight

Professor Mike Elliott Mike.Elliott@hull.ac.uk
Professor of Estuarine and Coastal Sciences/ Research Professor, Institute of Estuarine and Coastal Studies



Abstract

Due to the ecological importance of estuaries, it is necessary to understand the biological effects that potentially toxic contaminants induce in bioindicator species. A key aspect is whether effects at lower levels of biological organisation transfer through the system to higher levels. In understanding such processes, characterising multivariate relationships between contaminants, sediment toxicities and detoxification processes are important. Worms (Hediste diversicolor) and sediments were collected along the Humber Estuary, England, and inorganic and organic contaminants were quantified. Sediment toxicities and glutathione-S-transferases (GSTs) activity in the ragworm were analysed. Concentrations of metals were highest near urban and industrial areas, whereas organic contaminants appeared at upstream locations. GST activity correlated with heavy metals. The genotoxicity, oestrogenicity, dioxin and dioxin-like activity were higher at upstream locations. Oestrogenicity correlated with alkylphenols and some organochlorines, whilst genotoxicity correlated with organochlorines and heavy metals. Despite this, higher level biological responses could not be predicted, indicating that homeostasis is operating. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2011-05
Journal MARINE ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH
Print ISSN 0141-1136
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 71
Issue 4
Pages 295-303
APA6 Citation García-Alonso, J., Greenway, G., Munshi, A., Gómez, J., Mazik, K., Knight, A. W., …Elliott, M. (2011). Biological responses to contaminants in the Humber Estuary: disentangling complex relationships. Marine environmental research, 71(4), 295-303. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marenvres.2011.02.004
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marenvres.2011.02.004
Keywords Trace metals; Organic pollutants; GST; Sediment toxicity; Environmental homeostasis; Humber Estuary
Publisher URL https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0141113611000250?via%3Dihub