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Are Chinese mitten crabs (Eriocheir sinensis) suitable as biomonitor or bioindicator of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) pollution?
Groffen, T.; Keirsebelik, H.; Dendievel, H.; Falcou-Prefol, M.; Bervoets, L.; Schoelynck, J. (2024). Are Chinese mitten crabs (Eriocheir sinensis) suitable as biomonitor or bioindicator of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) pollution? J. Hazard. Mater. 464: 133024. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2023.133024
In: Journal of hazardous materials. Elsevier: Amsterdam; Lausanne; New York; Oxford; Shannon; Tokyo. ISSN 0304-3894; e-ISSN 1873-3336, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

    Eriocheir sinensis H. Milne Edwards, 1853 [WoRMS]
Author keywords
    Aquatic environment; Invasive species; Bioaccumulation; PFAS; Spatial distribution

Authors  Top 
  • Groffen, T., more
  • Keirsebelik, H., more
  • Dendievel, H., more
  • Falcou-Prefol, M., more
  • Bervoets, L., more
  • Schoelynck, J., more

    Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are ubiquitous in the environment. In Flanders, the bioaccumulation in aquatic organisms is currently being monitored using European perch and European eel. Since both are native species, there is an ethical need to search for other suitable biomonitors. This study aims to investigate whether the invasive Chinese mitten crab could be used in biomonitoring programs by assessing PFAS accumulation in hepatopancreas, muscle tissue, and carapace. Furthermore, we correlated accumulated concentrations to those in the local abiotic environment. Concentrations in the crabs (highest average n-ary sumation PFAS concentration of 688 +/- 505 ng/g ww) were often higher than those in crab species from other regions across the globe, confirming that Flanders is highly polluted with PFAS. Concentrations in the crabs did not reflect those in the abiotic environment. This implies that biomonitoring is necessary to investigate the impact of PFAS pollution on organisms in aquatic ecosystems, as important data is missing when only the abiotic environment is monitored. The accumulation profiles differed between the invasive crab and the native European perch and European eel, potentially due to a different ecology and trophic position. Since all three species provide complementary information on the PFAS pollution, a multi-species approach in biomonitoring is recommended. Overall, our results show that the crabs can be used as biomonitor, but more information is necessary to confirm their suitability as bioindicator.

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