SREL Reprint #1879





Snail (Helix asperse) Exposure History and Possible Adaptation to Lead as Reflected in Shell Composition

M. C. Newman1, M. Mulvey1, A. Beeby2, R. W. Hurst3 , L. Richmond 2

1University of Georgia's Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Aiken, South Carolina 29803, USA
2School of Applied Science, South Bank University, London SEI OAA, United Kingdom
3Chempet Research Corp, Moorpark, California 93021, USA

Abstract. Lead sequestration in shell was examined for English and Welsh populations of the common garden snail (Helix asperse) with different Pb exposure histories. Isotopic Pb ratios provided signatures for Pb source and a means of implying duration of population exposure from decades to millennia. Total Pb concentrations were used to quantify, the intensity of exposure experienced by the populations. Snails from populations with long histories of exposure (millennia) to high Pb levels had proportionately more Pb in their shell than soft tissue compared with snails from other surveyed populations. These observations suggest that Pb sequestration in shell has been enhanced in H. asperse populations with long and intense exposure to Pb.

SREL Reprint #1879

Newman, M.C., M. Mulvey, A. Beeby, R.W. Hurst, and L. Richmond. 1994. Snail (Helix aspersa) exposure history and possible adaptation to lead as reflected in shell composition. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 27:346-351.

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