We examined spatiotemporal variations of metal levels and three growth related biomarkers, i.e., RNA/DNA ratio (RD), total energy reserve (Et) and condition index (CI), in green-lipped mussels Perna viridis transplanted into five locations along a pollution gradient in the marine environment of Hong Kong over 120 days of deployment. There were significant differences in metal levels and biomarker responses among the five sites and six time points. Mussels in two clean sites displayed better CI and significantly lower levels of Ag, Cu, Pb and Zn in their tissues than the other sites. Temporal patterns of RD in P. viridis were found to be site-specific. Across all sites, Et decreased in P. viridis over the deployment period, though the rate of decrease varied significantly among the sites. Therefore, temporal variation of biomarkers should be taken to consideration in mussel-watch programs because such information can help discriminate pollution-induced change from natural variation.