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Laboratory and field assessment of uranium trophic transfer efficiency in the crayfish Orconectes limosus fed the bivalve C. fluminea

Simon, O., Garnier-Laplace, J
Aquatic Toxicology 74, issue 4, 372-383


At present, ecotoxicological information regarding the impact of natural uranium (U) on freshwater ecosystems via the trophic contamination route is scarce. We generated an experimental trophic food chain involving the prey species, Corbicula fluminea, and a predator, Orconectes limosus, for a 10-day and a 30-day feeding periods (food ration: one whole soft body/day/crayfish). We studied the efficiency of U trophic transfer and the distribution of U in the predator. During the test, we varied the quantity of dietary U (from beforehand contaminated bivalves at concentrations ranging from 0.9 ± 0.1 to 20.2 ± 9 μg/g fw provided to each crayfish over the 10 days) applying a daily feeding rate equal to 3.9 ± 0.8% fw. The efficiency of U trophic transfer from clams to crayfish varied between 1 and 13% depending on the prey exposure modalities. Accumulation of U was observed in the digestive gland but also in gills, in the muscle, and in the molt of the crayfish after trophic exposure treatments. Under high-level exposure conditions, the digestive gland was the main target-organ, however a significant accumulation was also observed in the stomach. With regard to low levels of trophic exposure, accumulation of U in gills, in the stomach, and in the digestive gland was of the same order of magnitude. Longer exposure period which incorporated a crayfish molt, resulted in a decrease of trophic transfer ratio and a modified U tissue distribution.

Laboratoire de Radioecologie et Ecotoxicologie, Institut de Radioprotection et de Surete Nucleaire Bat 186,
BP 3, 13115 Saint-Paul-Lez-Durance cedex, France


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