Interplay of Seasonality, Major and Trace Elements: Impacts on the Polychaete Diopatra neapolitana
Department of Biology, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM), Department of Biology, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
GEOBIOTEC, Department of Geosciences, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Andrés Arias, Sarah A. Woodin and Hannelore Paxton
Received: 23 March 2022
Revised: 5 July 2022
Accepted: 21 July 2022
Published: 31 July 2022
Coastal systems often serve as sinks for toxic elements, and seasonality has been responsible for many changes in the physical and chemical parameters of waters and sediments, leading to geochemical alterations in aquatic systems and the alteration of element uptake rates in organisms. Diopatra neapolitana worms were collected from five sites of the Ria de Aveiro lagoon in the autumn, winter, spring, and summer of 2018/2019 and were tested to check for differences in the biochemical responses (cell damage, antioxidant enzymes, biotransformation enzymes, and energy-related parameters) among seasons and sites. In general, the results demonstrated that enzyme activities were higher in spring and summer due to high temperatures and element bioaccumulation. Energy-related parameters presented with higher levels in spring and autumn, which was mainly due to element bioaccumulation. Oxidative damage was higher during winter and was related to salinity and decreases in temperature. This study demonstrated that abiotic factors influence the geochemistry of elements and that both significantly affect organism performance in low-contamination systems, such as the Ria de Aveiro lagoon. This knowledge is important to understand how ecological and economically relevant species such as D. neapolitana respond to environmental changes.