Concentrations of Cu, Ag and Zn were measured in the soft tissues of the estuarine bivalve Macoma balthica in South San Francisco Bay at near-monthly intervals for periods of two to three years at four stations, and eight years at a metal-enriched station. The amplitude and frequency of fluctuations differed among stations and among metals. Fluctuations were greatest at stations with the greatest metal enrichment and with the least dilution and flushing of wastes. A consistent seasonal pattern of fluctuation in Cu and Ag concentrations was evident in M. balthica at the metal-enriched station. These seasonal changes in tissue metal concentrations appeared to be affected by metal inputs, hydrologic processes that may affect both metal concentrations and bioavailability, and seasonal changes in the weight of the bivalve. The contributions of each of these interacting factors could not be determined quantitatively. At the metal-enriched station significant variation in the amplitude of seasonal fluctuations was also evident from year to year. Interpretation of metal concentrations in bivalves from estuaries will require careful consideration of the processes which affect metal dynamics in these complex environments. ?? 1985 Dr W. Junk Publishers.
Additional publication details
Temporal fluctuations of silver, copper and zinc in the bivalve Macoma balthica at five stations in South San Francisco Bay