Effect of Sub-Lethal Concentrations of Aluminium on the Filtration Activity of the Freshwater Mussel Anodonta Cygnea L. at Neutral pH


Significant amounts of aluminium (Al) are commonly present in rivers and lakes, largely in particulate form in neutral waters. Freshwater bivalves, as filter feeders are therefore exposed to both particulate and dissolved metal and are potentially vulnerable to Al.

The effect of Al on filtering behaviour of the freshwater mussel Anodonta cygnea L. was investigated during short (1 hour) and long-term (15 days) exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations (250 and 500 μg l–1) at neutral pH. Water flow through the outflow siphon was monitored as an indicator of pumping capacity.

Short-term (1 hour) exposure to 500 μg l–1 added Al produced an irreversible decrease in the duration of filtering periods, presumably as an avoidance response to the toxicant. One-hour exposure 250 μg l–1 Al had no detectable effect. When mussels were exposed to 250 or 500 μg l–1 added Al for 15 days, siphon activity measured in days 11–15 of exposure was inhibited by 50% and 65%, respectively, compared to pre-exposure levels. Recovery occurred following transfer of mussels to uncontaminated water. Interaction between Al and freshwater bivalves at neutral pH may affect both the performance of the mussels and the chemical speciation of the metal in the natural environment.


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Correspondence to Enikő Kádár.

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Dedicated to Professor György Ádám on the occasion of his 80th birthday.

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Kádár, E., Salánki, J., Powell, J. et al. Effect of Sub-Lethal Concentrations of Aluminium on the Filtration Activity of the Freshwater Mussel Anodonta Cygnea L. at Neutral pH. BIOLOGIA FUTURA 53, 485–493 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1556/ABiol.53.2002.4.9

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  • Aluminium
  • siphon activity
  • filtration
  • bivalve
  • Anodonta cygnea L.