Marine molluscs in environmental monitoring. II. Experimental exposure to selected pollutants

Vladimir Bresler, Ofer Mokady, Lev Fishelson, Tamar Feldstein, Avigdor Abelson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In an effort to establish biomonitoring programmes for routine and emergency monitoring of littoral marine habitats, organismal responses are examined in two ways: firstly, in controlled, laboratory studies, where the response may be accurately characterized; secondly, in field-collected specimens, with the hope of obtaining evidence regarding disturbances such as the ones caused by anthropogenic pollution. In many cases, there is a gap between the two types of studies, and different species and experimental and/or analytical procedures are used. In a series of recent studies, we have examined responses of field-collected molluscs, and interpreted our findings with respect to pollution. Here, we report a complementary study, in which molluscs collected from reference and polluted sites were exposed to cadmium or DDT under controlled laboratory conditions. Using fluorescent probes and microfluorometry, we examined the effect of these pollutants on paracellular permeability, lysosomal stability and metabolic status of mitochondria. Our findings indicate that molluscs from polluted sites are less affected, showing significantly smaller alterations in all examined parameters. These findings are in line with previous results showing higher levels of activity of cellular defence mechanisms in molluscs collected from polluted sites. Taken together, the results may be used to establish a reliable biomonitoring system. The sensitivity of the suggested methodology is also expected to qualify such a system for early warning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-211
Number of pages6
JournalHelgoland Marine Research
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Oct 2003


FundersFunder number
German Israeli Cooperation in Marine Sciences
Ministry of Science and Technology


    • Cadmium
    • DDT
    • Littoral molluscs
    • Mediterranean Sea
    • Red Sea


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