DV-14-06 Whole-animal and molecular responses of blue mussels exposed to municipal effluent: application of a bioenergetics framework

Markus Frederich
Marine Science Center
University of New England

As filter feeders, blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) are at particular risk of accumulating aquatic pollutants. Municipal wastewater effluent, commonly discharged into marine environments, can contain pollutants, including heavy metals, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, and endocrine-disruptors, as well as pharmaceuticals and personal care products. Examining this waste in isolation does not reflect the compounding (or negating) effects of the pollutant mixture.

This project will couple sub-lethal biomarkers of stress in blue mussels with individual fitness and population health, and evaluate toxicological stress by using a bioenergetics framework. The larger goal of the project is to examine stress in Maine’s marine invertebrates, especially those with economic significance. It is intended to lay a foundation for pursuing larger funding opportunities to support examination of the interrelationships of marine invertebrates, aquatic pollutants, and energetic stress.

Sea Grant funds: $3,000