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Mar Environ Res. 2010 Mar;69(2):63-72. doi: 10.1016/j.marenvres.2009.08.001. Epub 2009 Aug 12.

Trace element accumulation in Cassiopea sp. (Scyphozoa) from urban marine environments in Australia.

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ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and the School Marine & Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Townsville 4811, Australia.


Jellyfishes are robust, short-lived animals, tolerant to a wide range of environmental conditions and pollutants. The benthic jellyfish, Cassiopea sp. was collected from five locations along the north and eastern coast of Australia and analysed for trace elements to determine if this species has potential as a marine biomonitor. Both the oral arm and bell tissues readily accumulated aluminium, arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, copper, iron, manganese and zinc above ambient seawater levels. In contrast, lithium appeared to be actively regulated within the tissues while calcium, magnesium and strontium reflected the ambient environment. The multi-element signatures showed spatial variation, reflecting the geographical separations between locations, with locations closer together showing more similar elemental patterns. The combination of bioaccumulative capacity, life history traits and biophysical aspects indicate that this species has high potential as a biomonitor in coastal marine systems.

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