Analysis of trace metals in the Antarctic host-parasite system Notothenia coriiceps and Aspersentis megarhynchus (Acanthocephala) caught at King George Island, South Shetland Islands.
In: Polar Biology, Jg. 26 (2003) ; Nr. 10, S. 680-686
Zeitschriftenaufsatz / Fach: Biologie
Concentrations of the elements Al, Ag, As, Ba, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mg, Mn, Ni, Pb and Sr were analysed by high-performance quadrupole inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (Q-ICP-MS) in the acanthocephalan Aspersentis megarhynchus and in different tissues of its final host, Notothenia coriiceps. Infected fish were sampled at King George Island, South Shetland Islands, Antarctica. Most of the elements were found at significantly higher concentrations in the acanthocephalan than in muscle, liver and intestine of its host. Only Fe was concentrated in fish liver to a significantly higher level than in the parasite. Compared with the host tissues, the highest accumulation rates in A. megarhynchus were found for Pb, Cd, Ag, Ni and Cu. The acanthocephalans showed very high Ag and Pb levels, whereas the concentrations in the fish tissues were close to the detection limit. This study is the first proof that the enormous heavy-metal accumulation capacity reported for acanthocephalans from freshwater fish also occurs in acanthocephalans parasitizing marine fish. Consequently, acanthocephalans can be used to assess the occurrence and availability of even the lowest metal concentrations in all kinds of aquatic habitats, including remote areas such as the Antarctic.