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Mar Environ Res. 2002 Feb;53(1):65-76.

Lethal and sub-lethal effects of chlorination on green mussel Perna viridis in the context of biofouling control in a power plant cooling water system.

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Department of Zoology, Madras University, Chennai 600 025, Tamil Nadu, India.


Continuous chlorination is a widely followed cooling water treatment practice used in the power industry to combat biofouling. The green mussel Perna viridis is one of the dominant fouling organisms ( > 70%) in the Madras Atomic Power Station. Mortality pattern as well as physiological responses such as oxygen consumption, filtration rate, byssus thread production and faecal matter production of three different size groups of this mussel were studied at different chlorination concentrations. At 0.7 mg l(-1) residual chlorine, 3-4 cm size mussels showed 100% mortality in 553.3 h while 8-9 cm size group mussels died within 588 h. At a relatively high level of residual chlorine (9.1 mg l(-1)), 100% mortality in 3-4 cm and 8-9 cm size groups took 94 and 114 h, respectively. All physiological activities studied showed a progressive reduction as chlorine residuals were increased from 0 to 0.55 mg l(-1). The data indicated that the green mussel can sense a residual chlorine level as low as < 0.15 mg l(-1) and complete valve closure occurs only at 0.55 mg l(-1). The paper also shows that the sub-lethal physiological responses are better indices than lethal responses in planning chlorination strategies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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