Science Serving Maryland's Coasts

Sylvia Schaefer, University of Virginia

Class Year: 
2000

Project Title: 

Uptake of Trace Metals from Suspended Sediments by the Calanoid Copepod Eurytemora affinis

Abstract: 

This study examined the uptake and assimilation of the trace metals cadmium, chromium, and zinc from suspended sediment by the estuarine copepod Eurytemora affinis. Adult females were exposed to suspended sediment labeled with radioisotopes of Cd, Cr, and Zn at four different concentrations for approximately 44 hours. Activity in the animals was then determined using a gamma counter before depuration and again after a four-hour depuration period. Cadmium uptake showed significant difference from controls at 300 mg/L sediment levels, as well as at 50 mg/L on one occasion. Zinc uptake was highly significant at all sediment levels. No significant differences were observed between non-depurated and depurated copepods, suggesting that perhaps material in guts is an insignificant contribution to total body load.