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Metian M.,International Atomic Energy AgencyEnvironment Laboratories IAEA EL | Hedouin L.,International Atomic Energy AgencyEnvironment Laboratories IAEA EL | Hedouin L.,CNRS Insular Research Center and Environment Observatory | Ferrier-Pages C.,Center Scientifique Of Monaco | And 4 more authors.
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment | Year: 2015

Bioconcentration kinetics of five metals (Ag, Cd, Co, Mn, and Zn) were determined in the scleractinian coral Stylophora pistillata (entire symbiotic association vs. cultured symbionts), using radiotracer techniques. Among contrasting element behaviors observed in S. pistillata, the highest efficiency of concentration and retention was observed for Ag in the symbiotic association (CFss reaching 5000 and Tb½ > 1 year). Predominant proportion of this metal was found associated with the skeleton whereas the other metals were mainly present in the coral tissues (including host tissues and symbionts). A 96-h exposure of cultured symbionts (isolated zooxantellae from S. pistillata) indicated that they displayed a very high potential for metal bioconcentration (higher by 1 to 3 orders of magnitude compared to the skeleton). In addition, among the five elements investigated, Ag had the highest concentration factor in the cultured symbionts. Contrasting kinetic characteristics of skeleton vs. tissues offer interesting implications for biomonitoring purposes. Indeed, the skeleton was shown to display stable metal concentrations after an exposure (long retention time) and thereby allows recording contamination event on the long term, whereas the concentrations within coral tissues rapidly increased during the exposure and dropped when non-contaminating conditions were restored, allowing information on the current (short term) contamination status. The present study confirms that the coral can be seen as a two-compartment box model for metal bioconcentration: the tissues sensus latto as a first box governing metal entrance (with a crucial role played by the symbionts) and the skeleton as a second box where metal detoxification (storage) is taking place; the first box also depurates toward the environment when non-contaminating conditions are restored. © 2015, Springer International Publishing Switzerland.

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