Processes controlling temporal trends in Gulf of Mexico oyster health and contaminant concentrations
The concentrations of PAH, DDT, PCB, dieldrin and chlordane in Gulf of Mexico oysters as cumulative percent for five consecutive years are discussed. Gulf-wide changes in contaminant concentrations are observed. PAH and DDT co-vary while PCB has a different distribution. The body burden of PAH and pesticides in oysters is correlated with latitude. Available evidence suggest a linkage between oyster health (infection intensity), reproductive effort and contaminant body burden. Analyses of oyster gonadal material confirms the reproductive process can purge contaminants from oysters, which confounds interpretation of contaminant body burden data.