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The distribution of heavy metals in reef-dwelling groupers in the Gulf of Mexico and Bahama Islands
  • Published Date:
    1973
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The  distribution of heavy metals in reef-dwelling groupers in the Gulf of Mexico and Bahama Islands
Details:
  • Corporate Authors:
    Texas A & M University, Sea Grant College Program, ; National Sea Grant Program (U.S.) ;
  • Funding:
    Funding: NOAA Office of Sea Grants; grant number: 04-3-158-18;
  • Series:
    TAMU-SG ; 73-208
  • Document Type:
  • Description:
    Grouper species of the Epinephelus complex (Family Serranidae) from reefs or reef banks in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea were analyzed for heavy metals (Hg, As, Cd, Pb, Cu, Zn). Almost all showed levels below those generally deemed dangerous to humans. Geographical variations for mercury were detected, but must be viewed in light of regional differences in trophic structure and various other factors. Correlation between concentrations of heavy metals and growth factors (age, weight, standard length) indicated differences between members of the same species as well as interspecific differences. Mercury and zinc appear to increase with age and size in certain groupers, whereas arsenic shows absolutely no correlation. Interspecific differences, particularly in the accumulation of mercury and arsenic, were demonstrated between Epinephelus striatus and the three species, Mycteroperca tigris, M. phenax, and E. eruentatus. These differences reflect possible variations in feeding habits and metabolism. Therefore, extrapolation of data from one species to another is invalid, as is lumping species to represent a trophic level.

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