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Issue 9, 2009
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Limited transfer of uranium to higher trophic levels by Gammarus pulex L. in contaminated environments

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Abstract

In contrast to the classification of most invertebrate shredders being sensitive to uranium, a G. pulex L. population with reproduction was found in a stream at a former uranium mining site with uranium concentrations of 150 µg l−1 in water and up to 2000 mg kg−1DW−1 (dry weight) in litter born organic sediments. The survival of G. pulex, collected from a site without uranium contamination, was tested in a laboratory microcosm experiment using synthetic uranium-contaminated water and uranium-contaminated but nutrient rich food, simulating physicochemical conditions of water from former uranium mining sites. The results reveal that there are no significant differences in survival rate between individuals exposed and those not exposed to uranium. The uptake of uranium by G. pulex in environments with concentrations in food of 1152 mg kg−1 in DM (dry mass, organically bound) and in water of 63.9 µg L−1 is very low (4.48(1.93–8.46) mg kg−1 in DM). The accumulation of uranium in these invertebrates was verified to be via two pathways: body surface and food. A relevant amount of uranium adsorbs to the body surface where it can readily be desorbed.

Graphical abstract: Limited transfer of uranium to higher trophic levels by Gammarus pulex L. in contaminated environments

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Publication details

The article was received on 31 Mar 2009, accepted on 18 Jun 2009 and first published on 06 Jul 2009


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B906420F
Citation: J. Environ. Monit., 2009,11, 1629-1633

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    Limited transfer of uranium to higher trophic levels by Gammarus pulex L. in contaminated environments

    J. Schaller, C. Brackhage and E. G. Dudel, J. Environ. Monit., 2009, 11, 1629
    DOI: 10.1039/B906420F

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