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Effects of silver on reproduction in the bivalve, Potamocorbula amurensis, in San Francisco Bay
by Cynthia L. Brown, Francis Parchaso, Janet K. Thompson, and Samuel N. Luoma, USGS
based on article published in Human and Ecological Risk Assessment, 2003, V. 9 pp 95-119


  • Hydrology
  • Silver
  • Reproductive
  • Discussion
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Ecosystems are complex and characterized by a high degree of environmental variability. This makes distinguishing cause-and-effect relationships challenging. However, the variability of some environmental parameters can have repeated and somewhat predictable patterns. Sampling these patterns appropriately can aid explanation of processes and thus help identify the effects of anthropogenic influences such as pollutant inputs. Such a technique was utilized to examine silver contamination in the San Francisco Bay Estuary.

These pages explore the relationship between silver (Ag) contamination and changes in reproductive activity of Potamocorbula amurensis in the San Francisco Bay Estuary. Causality between Ag bioaccumulation and its effect on the reproductive activity of the clam is discussed with consideration of hydrodynamic influences and other ecological variables in the northern reach of San Francisco Bay. The patterns in the variability of the data suggest that the environmental stress imposed by Ag is the most likely factor causing changes in the reproductive activity in the clam.


U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Ecology and Contaminants Project
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