Trace metals play key roles in the metabolic cycles of marine organisms. Metal enrichment in polluted areas may also be responsible for reproductive anomalies and ecological disturbance since the onset of the industrial era. Despite recent advances in ecotoxicology and in molecular biology, the relationships between the concentrations of trace metals and marine biomass or biodiversity remain uncertain.
The ANR ISO2MET project targets three trace metals with intensive industrial application and high potential in marine ecotoxicology: zinc, copper, lithium. Trace metals are isotopically fractionated in biological organisms. Thus, trace metal stable isotopes offer a novel and unique approach to trace the mechanisms of accumulation, elimination and/or toxicity in marine organisms.
To achieve this work, several internationally recognized laboratories decided to merge their resources and their competences : physiologists and ecotoxicologists (LIENSs, IAEA-REL), experts in trace metal regulation by marine species, biochemists (LP2M), specialists of metal transfer in animal cells, geochemists (LOV, LGLTPE), specialized in non-conventional isotopes in the environment, and ecologists of marine plankton and trophic transfer (LOV, LIENSs).
Health & Environment