Uptake and depuration of mercury in the green mussel, Perna viridis Linnaeus (Bivalvia: Mytilidae)
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P. viridis were exposed to 3.6 ppb, and 100 ppb mercury. The mussels were also fed with algae that had been precontaminated with mercuric acetate to give a final mercury concentration of 10 ppb. Mercury bioaccumulation appears to be a function of time and concentration and is manifestly enhanced by the presence of mercury-contaminated food organisms. The pattern of mercury tissue distribution after 30 days exposure was found to be as follows: gills > visceral mass > mantle. Depuration is a slow process. The animals failed to purge themselves of the total amount accumulated in 45 days. Smaller mussels were observed to accumulate mercury faster than the larger ones. The Tolerance Limit Test (TLm) showed a mean mercury tissue concentration of 9,890 ppb wetweight after 65 hours exposure to 1.0 mu g Hg mL-1.