Can copper isotope composition in oysters improve marine biomonitoring and seafood traceability?

This study provides the first geographic and temporal large-scale analysis of Cu stable isotope compositions in indigenous oysters to biomonitor anthropogenic Cu inputs in aquatic systems. It includes oyster samples from French marine environments with distinct Cu-pollution levels and histories and extends over several decades of biomonitoring. Sample series composed of oysters from the same season and similar size/age intended to avoid biological biases. Oysters in macrotidal estuaries (Loire and Gironde, Western France) display fluctuating Cu concentrations without clear temporal trends, challenging to infer anthropogenic influence. Conversely, the time series of their Cu isotope ratios indicate a constant proportion of natural and anthropogenic Cu sources since the 1980s. In contrast, Cu isotope compositions in oysters from the progressively developing locales (urbanization and recreational boating) of Arcachon and Vilaine bays shift positively over time, along with increasing Cu concentrations. This finding suggests a gradual augmentation in the bioaccumulation of anthropogenic Cu over time. Thus, the time series of Cu isotope compositions in oysters is an unambiguous and robust approach to pinpoint anthropogenic Cu contamination. Furthermore, Cu concentrations combined with isotope compositions yield site-specific fingerprints allowing geographic discrimination among oysters. This two-dimensional Cu signature is promising as a tool for seafood traceability.


Anthropogenic contamination, Isotope fingerprint, Metal bioaccumulation, Marine pollution, Mussel-watch, Crassotrea gigas, Cu isotopes, Cu contamination

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Ferreira Araujo Daniel, Ponzevera Emmanuel, Knoery Joël, Briant Nicolas, Bruzac Sandrine, Sireau Teddy, Grouhel Anne, Brach-Papa Christophe (2023). Can copper isotope composition in oysters improve marine biomonitoring and seafood traceability?. Journal Of Sea Research. 191. 102334 (9p.).,

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