Active biomonitoring in Greek coastal waters: Application of the integrated biomarker response index in relation to contaminant levels in caged mussels
AuthorTsangaris, C.; Hatzianestis, I.; Catsiki, V. A.; Kormas, K. A.; Strogyloudi, E.; Neofitou, C.; Andral, B.; Galgani, F.
An integrated approach using biomarkers and contaminant levels in mussels Mytilus galloprovincialis L was employed to assess chemical contamination in Greek coastal waters within the framework of the MYTIMED program. Biomarkers (metallothioneins, glutathione S-transferase, catalase, acetylcholinesterase and RNA:DNA ratio) have been previously described in mussels caged at 14 sites in coastal areas influenced by different types of anthropogenic activities. This study applied a biomarker index, the Integrated Biomarker Response (IBR) to summarize biomarker responses and relate stress levels to concentrations of organochlorine compounds (PCBs, DDTs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and metals (Cu, Ni, Fe, Zn) measured in the mussel tissues. The IBR index indicated environmental stress at sites near cities and industries and was overall related to organic contaminants, but also elevated metal concentrations at certain sites. Slightly increased IBR values at few sites away from known pollution sources were not accompanied with increased contaminant levels suggesting stress possibly caused by natural factors. Results confirmed the usefulness of integration of biological effects measurements and chemical analysis for the assessment of chemical contamination in coastal waters. (C) 2011 Elsevier By. All rights reserved.