Biomonitoring study of an estuarine coastal ecosystem, the Sacca di Goro lagoon, using Ruditapes philippinarum (Mollusca: Bivalvia)

Angela Sacchi, Catherine Mouneyrac, Claudia Bolognesi, Andrea Sciutto, Paola Roggieri, Marco Fusi, Gian Maria Beone, Ettore Capri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Coastal lagoons are constantly subjected to releases of chemical pollutants, and so organisms may be exposed to such toxicants. This study investigated through a multivariate approach the physiological status of bivalve Ruditapes philippinarum, farmed in Sacca di Goro lagoon. Biomarkers at different levels of biological organization (catalase, superoxide dismutase, genotoxicity, reburrowing behavior) were evaluated at three sites exposed to different environmental conditions. A seasonal trend was observed, and micronucleus frequency was significantly lowest at the relatively pristine reference site. Enzymatic activity toward oxyradicals be quite efficient since variations in responsiveness were not consistent. However, behavioral impairment was observed in reburrowing rates. Sediment concentrations showed low PAH levels and high natural levels of trace metals Cr and Ni. DistLM statistical analysis revealed a non-significant relationship between selected biomarkers and xenobiotics. Therefore other potentially toxic compounds in admixture at low doses may be involved in driving differing spatial distribution of physiological impairment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-89
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Catalase
  • Micronucleus test
  • Reburrowing
  • Sediment contamination
  • Superoxide dismutase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Toxicology


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