(full paper is archived in the Miller Library)
Title: Natural levels of DDE and the uptake of C14-DDT by different size classes of the mussel Mytilus californianus (Conrad, 1837)
Student Author(s): Davis, Karen K.
Location: Final Papers Biology 175H
Date: June 1969
Abstract: 1. In natural populations Mytilus californianus of lengths 1, 3, and 5 cm have been found to have concentrations of DDE of 120, 96, and 62 ppb, respectively, per wet weight of body tissues. 2. Mussels can take up substantial amounts of DDT directly from the surrounding seawater. 3. Over a 12 hour period mussels 1 cm in length take up five times as much C14-DDT directly from the seawater as animals 5cm in length. 4. The uptake of C14-DDT from phytoplankton by the smaller mussels is 4-4.5 times greater than the uptake by the larger animals over the same time period. 5. The amount of water filtered by a mussel decreases with age and may account for the more rapid uptake of DDT by younger organisms. 6. The ability of younger mussels to adjust to experimental condidtions more readily than older ones may also partially explain the differential uptake rates. 7. It is suggested that if Mytilus is typical of marine organisms in its ability to concentrate DDT directly from the surrounding seawater, than the marine pesticide pollution problem may be greater than originally thought.