In a preliminary survey, Crassostrea virginica from areas of the Corpus Christi Bay system of Texas show significant concentrations of Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn in their tissues and shells; concentrations of these same metals in associated sediments are also high in certain areas of the bay system. Zn and Cd concentrations in tissue show a high negative correlation to each other, whereas Zn and Pb in tissue and shell show a high positive correlation to one another. Sediment contents of Pb and Zn best reflect tissue values of the heavy metals; sediment concentrations of Cd and Cu show a poor inverse correlation to tissue concentrations. Some possible factors influencing these correlations are suspended-sediment type, physiological changes, water quality, and Ca intake.
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USGS Numbered Series
Heavy-metal contamination of Crassostrea virginica and associated sediments of the Corpus Christi Bay system, Texas