Cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), mercury (Hg), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn) were assessed in the edible tissues of Crassrotrea corteziensis oysters collected during the rainy and dry seasons in 27 sites from 8 coastal lagoons of the southeast Gulf of California. In addition, C. palmula oysters were sampled at 9 sites from the same mangrove roots where C. corteziensis oysters were collected. Metal analyses were performed by flame atomic absorption spectrophotometry (Cd, Cu, and Zn), graphite furnace (Pb), and cold vapor detection (Hg). The obtained mean levels were (µg g(-1) dry weight) as follows: Cd 6.05 ± 2.77, Cu 60.0 ± 33.4, Hg 0.38 ± 0.17, Pb 1.11 ± 0.63, and Zn 777 ± 528 µg g(-1). For all metals except Hg, the concentrations were greater during dry season than during rainy seasons. The high levels, particularly that for Cd, were related to upwelling along the eastern Gulf of California. High Hg levels in the rainy season were associated with the transport of materials from the watershed to the lagoon. Shrimp farming, agriculture, and other sources were considered as potential sources to explain the differences in metal bioavailability in the 8 lagoons. The mean concentrations of Cd (Santa María-La Reforma lagoon), Cu [San Ignacio-Navachiste-El Macapule (SINM), Urías (URI), and Altata-Ensenada del Pabellón lagoons], and zinc (Zn) (URI, Santa María-Ohuira-Topolobampo, El Colorado, and SINM lagoons) during the dry season were greater than the maximum permissible limits. C. palmula collected in 8 sites where they were present simultaneously with C. corteziensis had consistently greater metal levels than C. corteziensis, but correlation analyses showed a high and significant (P < 0.05) correlation between metal concentrations in both species. The correlation equations obtained are useful where the same species is not distributed and is necessary to compare results from distinct regions.
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