The present study investigates the relationships between copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) concentrations in sediment, pore water and their bioaccumulation in the polychaete Nereis (Alitta) virens, as well as the importance of site-specific sediment characteristics in that process. Sediment, pore water and N. virens were sampled from seven sites with different pollution histories along the English Channel coast. Results showed that site-specific metal levels and sediment characteristics were important in determining the bioavailability of metals to worms. Significant correlations were found between Cu in the sediment and in the pore water and between Zn in the pore water and in N. virens. Zn from the pore water was thus more readily available from a dissolved source to N. virens than Cu. Data also showed that metal concentrations in N. virens were lower than those found in other closely related polychaetes, indicating that it may regulate tissue concentrations of Cu and Zn.
- Nereis (Alitta) virens
- pore water