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Free Content Heavy Metal Bioaccumulation in Puerto Rican Blue Crabs (Callinectes spp.)

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Crabs of the genus Callinectes (Crustacea: Portunidae) are the basis of a significant commercial harvest and recreational fishery in the Caribbean. C. sapidus and C. bocourti are commonly found in coastal lagoons and estuaries. This paper describes variations in concentrations of copper, cadmium, lead and mercury, between species, sexes, tissues and sites in C. sapidus and C. bocourti in Puerto Rico. Digested samples were analyzed using an Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometer (ICP-AES). Results were analyzed using analyses of variance. Significantly higher copper concentrations were found in female crabs from Santiago River. Copper concentrations were higher than other metals in the hepatopancreas of crabs from Mandry Channel and Santiago River; and significantly higher overall in C. bocourti. Higher concentrations of cadmium were observed in C. bocourti from Mandry Channel and Blanco River. Lead concentrations were higher in the hepatopancreas of crabs from Mandry Channel. Cadmium levels were overall higher in the hepatopancreas. No significant differences were observed for mercury concentrations. This study indicates bioaccumulation of heavy metals in Puerto Rican blue crabs (Callinectes spp.) is highly variable between sexes (copper), tissues (copper, cadmium, lead), sites (copper, cadmium, lead), and species (copper, cadmium).

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1999-03-01

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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