Morpho-physiological effects of cadmium on two Ulva species
Vecchia, Francesca Dalla; Marzocchi, Mara; Maistro, Silvia; Moro, Isabella
The Venice Lagoon continually receives pollutants such as heavy metals from urban discharges, rivers, industries and the atmosphere. Since marine macrophytes are often used as bioindicators in environmental contamination studies, in this work we have studied the morpho-physiological effects of 3 and 7 day-experimental exposure to 10 μM cadmium on thalli of Ulva intestinalis L. and Ulva laetevirens Areschoug, two macroalgae which grow abundantly in the Lagoon of Venice where Cd is found. The two species show different morpho-physiological responses to this heavy metal. The experimental exposure to Cd causes more evident impacts in Ulva intestinalis than in Ulva laetevirens. In particular, in Ulva intestinalis the metal causes evident cellular damages, disturbing the cell wall and impairing the thylakoid system of chloroplasts.