Effects of Animal Size on Concentrations of Metallothionein and Metals in Periwinkles Littorina littorea Collected from the Firth of Clyde, Scotland

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-136
Journal / PublicationMarine Pollution Bulletin
Issue number1-12
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1999
Externally publishedYes


Different sizes of Littorina littorea were collected from four areas in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland. Their metallothionein (MT) and heavy metal concentrations were analysed using the Silver Saturation Method and Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry, respectively. Concentrations of MT, Cd and Zn (as μg g-1 dry soft-body weight) generally decreased with an increase in size of L. littorea. MT concentrations were better correlated with Cd than with Zn or Cu concentrations. Nevertheless, MT and the metals in periwinkles (as μg individual-1) increased significantly with increasing size. Concentrations of MT and the metals among the sampling areas were compared at a standardised soft-body weight (10 mg). The results from Discriminant Analysis based on all metal concentrations indicate that Largs is different from the other areas and characterised by high Fe concentrations in L. littorea. The problems and differences in using either soft-body weight or shell length as independent variable for size-standardisation are discussed. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Research Area(s)

  • Littorina littorea, Metallothionein, Metals, Periwinkles, Size

Citation Format(s)