Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Program

Biology

Date of Award

12-2003

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Karl H. Joplin

Committee Members

Darrell J. Moore, Hugh A. Miller III

Abstract

The mode of feeding exhibited by different organisms may influence the form or quantity of copper that is bioaccumulated. This hypothesis has been tested by exposing 2 species of sea cucumbers, Pentacta anceps and Stichopus chloronotus, which possess different feeding modes, to varying concentrations of copper.

The digestive tract and body wall were dissected and analyzed for copper concentration using atomic absorption spectroscopy. A trend was present, exhibiting a small dose dependent curve. The results did not show a significant difference between species or treatments. This study indicates that feeding mode may influence the amount of copper accumulated but it could not be concluded because of a small sample size. The model used in this study demonstrated that copper was being actively precipitated out of the water and deposited into sediment. Future studies focusing on pollutant uptake may find this useful when evaluating the role of feeding mode or habitat.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

Included in

Biology Commons

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