Aquatic insects and trace metals: bioavailability, bioaccumulation, and toxicity

Critical Reviews in Toxicology
L Hare

Abstract

The uptake of metals from food and water sources by insects is thought to be additive. For a given metal, the proportions taken up from water and food will depend both on the bioavailable concentration of the metal associated with each source and the mechanism and rate by which the metal enters the insect. Attempts to correlate insect trace metal concentrations with the trophic level of insects should be made with a knowledge of the feeding relationships of the individual taxa concerned. Pathways for the uptake of essential metals, such as copper and zinc, exist at the cellular level, and other nonessential metals, such as cadmium, also appear to enter via these routes. Within cells, trace metals can be bound to proteins or stored in granules. The internal distribution of metals among body tissues is very heterogeneous, and distribution patterns tend to be both metal and taxon specific. Trace metals associated with insects can be both bound on the surface of their chitinous exoskeleton and incorporated into body tissues. The quantities of trace meals accumulated by an individual reflect the net balance between the rate of metal influx from both dissolved and particulate sources and the rate of metal efflux from the organism. Th...Continue Reading

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