Particulate organo-Se was assimilated with 86% efficiency by the deposit feeding bivalve Macoma balthica, when the clam was fed 75Se-labeled diatoms. Absorption efficiencies of participate elemental Se were 22%, when the animals were fed 75Se-labeled sediments in which elemental Se was precipitated by microbial dissimilatory reduction. Precipitation of elemental Se did not eliminate biological availability of the element. Selenite was taken up from solution slowly by M. balthica (mean concentration factor was 712). Concentrations of selenite high enough to influence Se bioaccumulation by M. balthica did not occur in the oxidized water column of San Francisco Bay. However, 98-99% of the Se observed in M. balthica could be explained by ingestion of the concentrations of participate Se found in the bay. The potential for adverse biological effects occurred at much lower concentrations of environmental Se when food web transfer was considered than when predictions of effects were based upon bioassays with solute forms of the element. Selenium clearly requires a protective criterion based upon particulate concentrations or food web transfer. ?? 1992 American Chemical Society.
Additional publication details
Determination of selenium bioavailability to a benthic bivalve from particulate and solute pathways