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The American Oyster as a Coastal Zone Pollution Monitor: A Pilot Study

Geoffrey I. Scott and David R. Lawrence
Estuaries
Vol. 5, No. 1 (Mar., 1982), pp. 40-46
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1352215
Page Count: 7
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The American Oyster as a Coastal Zone Pollution Monitor: A Pilot Study
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Abstract

The Condition Index [(dry meat weight)(100)/(internal cavity volume)] has been analyzed and compared in the American oyster, Crassostrea virginica, from two South Carolina estuaries, one of which was considered polluted by coliform bacteria standards. During the warmer months, oysters from the unpolluted habitat showed a consistently and significantly higher Condition Index. Best fit and power function regressions of Condition Index on total coliform bacteria levels conform with previously cited effects of pollutants on oysters. Condition Index dropped markedly as the incidence of total coliforms increased toward levels of 100 per 100 ml of water. Our results and the known sensitivity of oysters to a spectrum of pollutants suggest that their condition could be used to monitor waterborne pollution in coastal zone areas.

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