The pressure exerted by shallow water hydrothermal vents on edible gastropods and their cellular responses triggered by these stresses are almost unknown. The aims of this study were to evaluate the bioavailability of metals in the Macaronesian endemic limpet Patella candei gomesii living close to shallow water hydrothermal vents, and the structural differences in their digestive gland as well as the levels of apoptosis in that organ. Limpets were sampled in four sites, two with the presence of hydrothermalism and the other two without it. Whole body concentrations of several metals (Ca, Cd, Cs, Co, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mg, Mn, Pb, Rb, Se, Sr, and Zn) were obtained, morphometry analysis of the digestive gland and TUNEL test for apoptosis were also performed. Results revealed that the presence of shallow water hydrothermal vents is a source of chronic metal stress to limpets, imposing modifications in the morphometry and cell composition of the digestive gland of those limpets that may constitute cell and tissue adaptations to the environment they live in. This study sets up new baseline data for further research on the influence of shallow water hydrothermal vents over communities living in these habitats.
- Exposure biomarkers
- Patella candei gomesii