Science Serving Maryland's Coasts

Jennifer Barnes, Chatham College

Class Year: 

Project Title: 

Effects of Trace Metals (Cd, Pb, Hg) on Calcium Influx in Amphipods (Gammarus spp.)


The effect of cadmium, Iead, and mercury on calcium influx were measured in estuarine amphipods of the genus Gammarus (spp). Influx experiments involved 2 minute exposure to metal solutions of increasing concentration (0.5 - 100 mmol L-1) that were made up in a 45Ca labeled 0.07 mmol Ca L-1 solution in 16 ppt seawater. Since trace metal effects on divalent regulatory mechanisms are greater in fresher water, it would be helpful to understand at what salinity these effects become important. Cadmium had no effect on the level of calcium influx. At the Iowest concentration of lead there was no effect on influx, but at increasing concentrations, the influx level experienced a downward trend. Mercury seemed to affect influx only at the highest concentrations, where influx seemed to increase.