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Isotopes Environ Health Stud. 2016 Dec;52(6):619-32. doi: 10.1080/10256016.2016.1149481. Epub 2016 Mar 16.

Prawn biomonitors of nutrient and trace metal pollution along Asia-Pacific coastlines.

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a Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University , Nathan , QLD , Australia.
b Queensland Health Forensic and Scientific Services , Archerfield , QLD , Australia.
c Center for Isotopes and Radiation Application, National Nuclear Energy Agency , Jakarta , Indonesia.
d Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC), Atomic Energy Centre , Chittagong , Bangladesh.
e International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA Environment Laboratories, Monaco, Principality of Monaco , Kajang , Selangor , Malaysia.
f Atomic Energy Authority , Orugodawatte , Wellampitiya , Sri Lanka.
g Malaysian Nuclear Agency, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation Komplek Nuclear Malaysia Bangi , Kajang Selangor , Malaysia.


To assess coastal ecosystem status and pollution baselines, prawns were collected from the commercial catches of eight Asia-Pacific countries (Australia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand). Samples collected from 21 sites along regional coastlines were analysed for trace metal and stable isotopic compositions of H, C, N, O and S. A combination of simple averaging and multivariate analyses was used to evaluate the data. Sites could be assigned to easily recognise polluted and unpolluted groups based on the prawn results. Some filter-feeding clams were also collected and analysed together with the benthic-feeding prawns, and the prawns generally had lower trace metal burdens. Climate change effects were not strongly evident at this time, but altered ocean circulation and watershed run-off patterns accompanying future climate change are expected to change chemical patterns recorded by prawns along these and other coastlines. Stable isotopes, especially (15)N, can help to distinguish between relatively polluted and unpolluted sites.


Bio-indicators; bivalves; carbon-13; climate change; fish; hydrogen-2; modelling; nitrogen-15; oxygen-18; pollution; stable-isotope ecology; sulphur-35; trace elements

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