Shell shape as a biomarker of marine pollution historic increase
Buccinanops globulosus is a TBT sensitive marine gastropod, classified as a good indicator of imposex incidence and used as a model to study adverse contamination effects. Population and maritime industries has incremented pollution in Nuevo gulf harbor since 1970s, promoting morphological changes in B. globulosus shell shape. We study the shell shape of the species comparing present day's specimens from the harbor zone with those collected in the same zone before the increasing of maritime activity and pre-Hispanic archaeological Middens. We demonstrated that harbor pollution produces globular shell shape in B. globulosus, an effect that probably allows gastropods to isolate themselves from the external adverse environment. On the contrary, shells from pre-Hispanic periods, unpolluted sites and those collected before the expansion of maritime activities, presented an elongated shell shape. Our study confirms that shell shape variation in marine gastropods can be used as a biomarker of harbor pollution.
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