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Lack of physiological responses to hydrocarbon accumulation by Mytilus trossulus after 3-4 years chronic exposure to spilled Exxon Valdez crude oil in Prince William Sound.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Part C, Pharmacology, toxicology & endocrinology
Publication Date
Volume
122
Issue
1
Pages
153–163
Identifiers
PMID: 10190040
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Mussels, Mytilus trossulus, were sampled in 1992 and 1993 from beaches in Prince William Sound that had been oiled by the Exxon Valdez spill of March, 1989. At some of the oiled beaches, mussels were collected from beds overlying oiled sediments, and from bedrock adjacent to these beds. Mussels were also collected from beaches within the Sound that had not been impacted by the spill. Polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) concentrations in mussel tissue, physiological responses (byssal thread production, condition index, clearance rate, and glycogen content), were determined for each group of mussels. Total PAH concentrations in mussel tissue ranged from 0 to 6 micrograms g-1, and were significantly greater in mussels from oiled beds than those from reference beds. No significant differences were noted in byssal thread production, condition index, clearance rate, or glycogen content between oiled sample sites and reference sites. The lack of physiological response was surprising because mussels in this study were chronically exposed to PAH for 3-4 years, and none of the physiological responses measured appeared to be affected by that exposure. The lack of a physiological response suggests that chronically exposed mussels may develop a physiological tolerance to PAH, but we recognize that these measures may not have been sensitive enough to discriminate response from background noise.

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