Contrasting reproductive health of female clams Megapitaria squalida from two nearby metal-polluted sites in the Gulf of California: Potential effects of copper, lead, and cobalt
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We studied the effects of chronic exposure to metals on energy reserves and reproduction in the clam Megapitaria squalida in two nearby populations exposed to different levels of pollution from mining operations in the Gulf of California, Mexico. Female M. squalida from San Lucas beach had good reproductive health status, whereas Santa Rosalia specimens consistently showed low energy reserves, massive oocyte resorption throughout the year, high frequencies of undifferentiated individuals, low proportions of ripe and spawning organisms, smaller and fewer oocytes per follicle, and significantly lower follicular areas. Ovarian levels of Co, Cu, Pb, Mn, and Zn were consistently higher in clams from Santa Rosalia. The poor reproductive health of clams inhabiting this site may be attributed to their long-term exposure to high Co, Cu, and Pb concentrations, as these have been shown to cause toxicity and reproductive impairments in other marine organisms.
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