Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Bioaccumulation and ecotoxicological responses of clams exposed to terbium and carbon nanotubes: comparison between native (Ruditapes decussatus) and invasive (Ruditapes philippinarum) species.

Abstract

In the last decades the use of rare earth elements (REEs) increased exponentially, including Terbium (Tb) which has been widely used in newly developed electronic devices. Also, the production and application of nanoparticles has been growing, being Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) among the most commonly used. Accompanying such development patterns, emissions towards the aquatic environments are highly probable, with scarce information regarding the potential toxicity of these pollutants to inhabiting species, especially considering their mixture. In the present study the effects of Tb and CNTs exposure (acting alone or as a mixture) on native and invasive clams' species (Ruditapes decussatus and Ruditapes philippinarum, respectively) were evaluated, assessing clams' accumulation and metabolic capacities, oxidative status as well neurotoxic impacts. Results obtained after a 28-days exposure period showed that the accumulation of Tb in both species was not affected by the presence of the CNTs and similar Tb concentrations were found in both species. The effects caused by Tb and CNTs, acting alone or as a mixture induced greater alterations in R. philippinarum antioxidant capacity in comparison to native R. decussatus, but no cellular damages were observed in both species. Nevertheless, although metabolic impairment was only observed in clams exposed to Tb, loss of redox balance and neurotoxicity were evidenced by both species regardless the exposure treatment. These findings highlight the potential impacts caused by CNTs and Tb, which may affect clams' normal physiological functioning, impairing their reproduction and growth capacities. The obtained results point out the need for further investigation considering the mixture of pollutants.