Areas of Research

 

We study marine pollution using an integrated chemical-biological approach;  developing  tools combining  biological testing and chemical analysis for monitoring and assessment of pollutants and their biological effects.

1. Bioaccumulation and toxicity of pollutants in marine organisms: towards scientifically sound marine environmental quality criteria

Our research is focused on the construction of an ecotoxicological data-base compiling the sensitivity of early life stages of marine organisms representative of the main marine taxa in order to derive scientifically sound Water Quality Criteria, and Sediment Quality Criteria for the main regulated and emerging chemical pollutants with relevance for Risk Assessment in coastal environments.

Table 1 below compiles the toxicity thresholds, estimated as EC10 (concentrations reducing by a 10% a fitness-relevant biological trait such as embryo development, larval survival or growth, for a series of chemicals. 

2.  Influence of dissolved organic matter on bioavailibility of trace metals.

3. Desing of bioessays, "in situ" and laboratory bioessays, for assessing and monitoring pollution in coastal ecosystems. The biological models used include early stages of:

     Echinoderms: Paracentrotus lividus (Lamarck, 1816)

     Mollusks: Mytilus galloprovincialis Lamarck, 1819

Ruditapes decussatus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Venerupis corrugata (Gmelin, 1791)

     Ascidaceans: Ciona intestinalis (Linnaeus, 1767)

     Fish: Scophthalmus maximus (Linnaeus, 1758)

4. Molecular biomarkers in mussels: glutathione transferase (GST), acetylcholine-esterase (AChE), glutathione peroxidase (GPx).

5. Cryopreservation of sea urchin larvae

 

Table 1. Toxicity thresholds (estimated as EC10, EC50/3 or LOEC) of chemical pollutants for representative species of marine coastal ecosystems.

Toxic Species Endpoint TT µg L-1 Reference
Naphthalene Isochysis galbana Population growth (48 h) light EC10 755 Pérez (2010)
  Mytilus galloprovincialis Early larval growth (48 h) EC10 4037 Bellas et al. (2008)
  Siriella armata Neonate mortality (96 h) EC10 42.4 Pérez & Beiras (2009)
  Paracentrotus lividus Early larval growth (48 h) EC10 649 Bellas et al. (2008)
  Ciona intestinalis Early larval growth (48 h) EC10 610 Bellas et al. (2008)
  Ciona intestinalis Early larval growth (48 h) light EC10 3025 Bellas et al. (2008)
  Psetta maxima Larval survival (96 h) EC10 52.6 Mhadhbi et al. (2010)
  Psetta maxima Larval survival (96 h) light EC10 50.0 Mhadhbi et al. (2010)
Phenanthrene Isochysis galbana Population growth (48 h) light EC10 232 Pérez (2010)
  Mytilus galloprovincialis Early larval growth (48 h) EC10 29 Bellas et al. (2008)
  Siriella armata Mortality (96 h) LC50/3 5.2 Pérez & Beiras (2009)
  Palaemon serratus Larval survival (72 h) LC50/3 44 Mariño-Balsa (2003)
  Palaemon serratus Larval survival (72 h) light LC50/3 30 Mariño-Balsa (2003)
  Paracentrotus lividus Early larval growth (48 h) EC10 460 Bellas et al. (2008)
  Paracentrotus lividus Early larval growth (48 h) light EC10 105 Bellas et al. (2008)
  Ciona intestinalis Early larval growth (48 h) EC10 428 Bellas et al. (2008)
  Ciona intestinalis Early larval growth (48 h) light EC10 262.3 Bellas et al. (2008)
  Psetta maxima Larval survival (96 h) EC10 6.7 Mhadhbi et al. (2010)
  Psetta maxima Larval survival (96 h) light EC10 4.5 Mhadhbi et al. (2010)
Fluoranthene Isochysis galbana Population growth (48 h) light EC10 76.9 Pérez (2010)
  Mytilus galloprovincialis Early larval growth (48 h) EC10 >252.9 Bellas et al. (2008)
  Mytilus galloprovincialis Early larval growth (48 h) light EC10 33.6 Bellas et al. (2008)
  Siriella armata Mortality (96 h) EC10 21.5 Pérez & Beiras (2009)
  Palaemon serratus Larval survival (72 h) LC50/3 31.3 Mariño-Balsa (2003)
  Palaemon serratus Larval survival (72 h) light LC50/3 10.7 Mariño-Balsa (2003)
  Paracentrotus lividus Early larval growth (48 h) EC10 26.7 Bellas et al. (2008)
  Paracentrotus lividus Early larval growth (48 h) light EC10 20.8 Bellas et al. (2008)
  Ciona intestinalis Early larval growth (48 h) EC10 >252.9 Bellas et al. (2008)
  Ciona intestinalis Early larval growth (48 h) light EC10 242.0 Bellas et al. (2008)
  Psetta maxima Larval survival (96 h) EC10 4.7 Mhadhbi et al. (2010)
  Psetta maxima Larval survival (96 h) light EC10 2.6 Mhadhbi et al. (2010)
Pyrene Isochysis galbana Population growth (48 h) light EC10 56 Pérez (2010)
  Mytilus galloprovincialis Embryo development (48 h) EC10 94.1 Bellas et al. (2008)
  Mytilus galloprovincialis Embryo development (48 h) light EC10 8.3 Bellas et al. (2008)
  Siriella armata Mortality (96 h) EC10 14.6 Pérez & Beiras (2009)
  Paracentrotus lividus Early larval growth (48 h) EC10 69.2 Bellas et al. (2008)
  Paracentrotus lividus Early larval growth (48 h) light EC10 23.5 Bellas et al. (2008)
  Psetta maxima Larval survival (96 h) EC10 18.5 Mhadhbi et al. (2010)
  Psetta maxima Larval survival (96 h) light EC10 3.4 Mhadhbi et al. (2010)
Triclosan Isochysis galbana Population growth (72 h) light EC10 15  
  Mytilus galloprovincialis Early larval growth (48 h) EC10 149.8  
  Acartia clausi Nauplius mortality (48 h) EC10 64.8  
  Paracentrotus lividus Early larval growth (48 h) EC10 130  
TBT Mytilus galloprovincialis Embryo development (48 h) EC10 0.16 Beiras and Bellas (2008)
  Palaemon serratus Larval survival (48 h) LC50/3 5.8 Bellas et al. (2005)
  Paracentrotus lividus Early larval growth (48 h) EC50/3 0.1 Bellas et al. (2005)
  Ciona intestinalis Embryo development (20 h) EC50/3 2.4 Bellas et al. (2005)
Chlorpyrifos Isochysis galbana Population growth (48 h) light EC10 230  
  Mytilus galloprovincialis Embryo development (48 h) EC10 79.1 Beiras and Bellas (2008)
  Siriella armata Neonate Mortality (96 h) EC10 0.012 Pérez & Beiras (2009)
  Palaemon serratus Larval survival (48 h) LOEC 0.5 Bellas et al. (2005)
  Majas quinado Larval survival (48 h) LOEC 2.5 Bellas et al. (2005)
  Paracentrotus lividus Early larval growth (48 h) EC50/3 100 Bellas et al. (2005)
  Ciona intestinalis Embryo development (20 h) EC50/3 1888 Bellas et al. (2005)
  Psetta maxima Embryo development (48 h) EC10 37.9 Mhadhbi and Beiras (2012)
  Psetta maxima Larval survival  (96 h) EC10 22 Mhadhbi and Beiras (2012)
Diuron Palaemon serratus Larval survival (48 h) LOEC 10000 Bellas et al. (2005)
  Paracentrotus lividus Early larval growth (48 h) EC50/3 1867 Bellas et al. (2005)
  Ciona intestinalis Embryo development (20 h) EC50/3 8132 Bellas et al. (2005)
  Psetta maxima Embryo development (48 h) EC10 1396 Mhadhbi and Beiras (2012)
  Psetta maxima Larval survival  (96 h) EC10 3174 Mhadhbi and Beiras (2012)
γ-HCH Mytilus galloprovincialis Embryo development (48 h) EC10 1413 Beiras and Bellas (2008)
  Palaemon serratus Larval survival (48 h) LOEC 0.5 Bellas et al. (2005)
  Majas quinado Larval survival (24 h) LOEC 4 Bellas et al. (2005)
  Paracentrotus lividus Early larval growth (48 h) LOEC 750 Bellas et al. (2005)
  Ciona intestinalis Embryo development (20 h) EC50/3 1471 Bellas et al. (2005)
Bisphenol A Isochysis galbana Population growth (72 h) light EC10 600  
  Mytilus galloprovincialis Embryogenesis (48 h) EC10 1126  
  Acartia clausii Nauplius mortality (48 h) EC10 186  
  Paracentrotus lividus Early larval growth (48 h) EC10 480  
4-Nonylphenol Isochysis galbana Inhibition of growth (72 h) EC10 11.1  
  Acartia clausi Nauplius mortality (48 h) EC10 29.0  
  Paracentrotus lividus Early larval growth (48 h) EC10 53.8