Accumulation of Cu and Ag by soft tissues of the deposit-feeding clam Macoma balthica was less than half in clams transplanted to a contaminated area than in clams native to that area. During a period of tissue growth, the transplants retained 50% and 90%, respectively, of the net Cu and Ag accumulated, but loss of metals from soft tissue by the resident population equalled net accumulation. Copper accumulation in the transplants did not occur during some periods when increases in the metal body burden of the resident population indicated that environmental exposures were high. The difference in metal accumulation of the two groups of clams may be the result of past environmental exposures. The results illustrate some limitations of using transplants as indicators of pollution events or of pollutant impact upon resident populations.
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Copper and silver accumulation in transplanted and resident clams (Macoma balthica) in South San Francisco Bay