Biological effects of contaminants: Measurement of scope for growth in mussels
Scope for growth (SFG) is a method of assessing the whole-animal physiological response to sublethal stress induced by pollutants. It has been applied widely in small- and large-scale pollution monitoring programmes in various regions of the world, ranging from temperate to tropical. SFG was primarily developed for use with suspension-feeding mussels (Mytilus edulis or similar indigenous species) and in combination with the analysis of chemical contaminants in mussel tissues. SFG is based on the measurement of physiological responses, such as feeding and respiration rate, and is derived from the difference between energy acquisition (rate of feeding and digestion) and energy expenditure (metabolic rate). The method has been successfully tested nationally in a range of UK monitoring programmes and internationally as part of IOC (Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission) Biological Effects Workshops to evaluate and compare pollution effects measurements at different levels of biological organization.
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