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Bioaccumulation of metals on the gastropod Hastula cinerea along an urbanization gradient

Grant number: 20/16522-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2021
Effective date (End): December 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Oceanography - Biological Oceanography
Principal Investigator:Leonardo Querobim Yokoyama
Grantee:Stephanie de Jardin
Host Institution: Instituto do Mar (IMar). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus Baixada Santista. Santos , SP, Brazil


The urbanization process resulted in the growth of industrial activity in coastal ecosystems, generating environmental impacts. Among these, contamination by metals is a major risk to environmental health. These pollutants can stick to the unconsolidated sediment causing morphological and chemical changes and, in addition, they can be bioaccumulated by benthic organisms, like many marine invertebrates. On sandy beaches, mollusks are one of the main groups of benthic invertebrates, especially bivalves and gastropods. These organisms are efficient bioindicators of metal contamination, however there is still a lack of research on their variation along an urbanization gradient. Within this context, we propose an analysis of the presence of metals in Hastula cinerea, a species of gastropod common along the coast of Brazil, following a decreasing gradient of urbanization along the Baixada Santista to the southern coast of the State of São Paulo. For sampling, 10 individuals will be collected, in each location, with a shell length greater than 30 mm. Sediment samples will be collected for analysis of granulometry and organic matter. The Total Reflection X-Ray Fluorescence (TXRF) technique will be used to identify the metals present in the samples. The differences in the concentrations of metals between the beaches will be verified through an ANOVA, followed by a Tukey test. In relation to differences in the concentrations of metals accumulated by the organisms between the beaches, a Similarity Analysis (ANOSIM) will be used. The importance of the study is due to the environmental problem surrounding metals in the aquatic environment that presents risks to the food chain and, consequently, to human health.

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