Trace elements in bivalve shells: How “vital effects” can bias environmental studies

TitleTrace elements in bivalve shells: How “vital effects” can bias environmental studies
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsBarrat, J-A, Chauvaud, L, Olivier, F, Poitevin, P, Rouget, M-L
JournalChemical Geology
Date PublishedJan-08-2023

We report on the concentrations of rare earths (REE), Y, Mg, Mn, Cu, Zn, Sr, Ba, Pb and U in a series of wild scallops (Placopecten magellanicus) collected alive on the same day in Saint Pierre et Miquelon (a French archipelago located south of Newfoundland) and ranging in age from 2 to about 20 years. We analyzed representative fragments from the entire last annual shell growth increment of each animal to assess changes in trace element incorporation with age. No correlation with the age of the animals was obtained for Sr and Mn concentrations, which are quite variable from one individual to another, even of similar age. On the other hand, for REE, Y, Cu, Zn, Ba and U, the concentrations measured in the last annual growth increment formed by animals aged 2 to 7 years are similar. From 8 years of age, the concentrations of these elements increased very strongly (for example for Yb, almost by an order of magnitude between 8 and 20 years of age), and possibly with some variation between individuals of the same age. Two elements show a different behavior: Mg concentrations in the shell margins increase continuously with the age of the animals; Pb concentrations are scattered but seem to decrease with the age of the animals.This turning point in the behavior of the elements from 8 years of age coincides with major metabolic changes, since at this age wild P. magellanicus from Newfoundland reduce their growth, in favor of gamete production. Our results demonstrate that metabolic activity of the animals largely controls the incorporation of many trace elements into the shells. These results demonstrate that the age of the animals must be taken into account when their shells are used to study pollution or (paleo)

Short TitleChemical Geology
Catégorie HCERES
ACL - Peer-reviewed articles
Publication coopération et recherche SUD