Effects of metal burden and food avoidance on the transfer of metals from naturally contaminated prey to a marine predator Nassarius siquijorensis

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-118
Journal / PublicationAquatic Toxicology
Online published14 Feb 2013
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2013
Externally publishedYes


Nassarid snails are important opportunistic scavengers widely found in marine intertidal shores and trophic transfer is a predominant source of metal accumulation in these species, thus there is a significant need to understand the controls of metal trophic transfer. In the present study, we took advantage of a severely contaminated estuary and collected two prey organisms (oysters Crassostrea angulata and barnacles Fistulobalanus albicostatus) with different contamination histories. These naturally contaminated prey were fed to a marine neogastropod Nassarius siquijorensis for a period of up to 7 weeks. We then investigated the influences of prey type, metal burden, and subcellular distribution in the prey on the metal accumulation, trophic transfer, and potential toxicity on N. siquijorensis. We demonstrated an obvious negative relationship between the trophic transfer and the metal concentration in prey or the metal dosage. N. siquijorensis exhibited food avoidance behavior to the Cu contaminated food, which effectively reduced the metal ingestion and resulted in a decrease of trophic transfer, as well as a potential toxic effect from dietary exposure. On the other hand, our results also implied the metal-specific impact of subcellular metal distribution in prey on the trophic transfer to N. siquijorensis. Our study suggested that metal burden and feeding avoidance should be considered in studying the trophic transfer of metals in marine benthic food chain. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Research Area(s)

  • Food avoidance, Metal-contaminated prey, Nassarius siquijorensis, Trophic transfer

Citation Format(s)