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Heavy metals effects on life traits of juveniles of Procambarus clarkii

1 Department of Ecology, Faculty of Sciences, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, C/Darwin nº2, 28049 Madrid, Spain
2 Golder Associates Global Ibérica S.L.U. Paseo de la Castellana, 140-3º Izda. Edificio Lima, 28046, Madrid, Spain

An incubation experiment of juvenile crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) following a three- level treatment design approach was performed to assess the effect of different heavy metal concentrations on their life history traits (lifespan, growth, moult and feeding activity). The aims were to: (1) address the response of the life traits; (2) check for the correlation between heavy metal concentrations in crayfish whole bodies with the ones of the experimental solutions; (3) analyse the variation of crayfish carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes signatures grown under these treatments. Treatments were: control or absence of pollutants (C); low level contamination (L) similar to those found in the water of the Guadiamar River (SW, Spain) one year after the Aznalcóllar mine accident, and high level contamination (H) maximum concentrations of metals measured in the water of the river after the spill. The study concludes that the H treatment produced lethal effects on juveniles of crayfish, whereas those undergoing the L treatment showed less marked effects. Crayfish’s juveniles grown in L treatment seemed able to regulate and manage this range of pollution while maintaining their biological traits. Juvenile’s capacity to bioaccumulate toxic substances also changes with the nature of the particular metals. The reduction in lifespan was mainly influenced by Cu, Zn and As. 13 C of C and juveniles from L treatment had similar values but different from those individuals of H treatment, reflecting the isotopic signature of the food source used (liver), and were also influenced by the concentration of Cu and As.
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