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2021 | 38 | 83-97
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Phytoplankton Susceptibility Towards Toxic Heavy Metal Cadmium: Mechanism and Its Recent Updates

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Environmental pollution particularly heavy metal pollution into aquatic ecosystem has led to multiple damage in almost all life forms. Cadmium is one of the priority pollutant listed by United States Environmental Protection Agency or US EPA that widely known to have an adverse effect to organisms as well as human health. One type of organism that is susceptible to the effects of metal pollution is phytoplankton. Phytoplankton is a group of microalgae that are easy to find and are primary producers in aquatic environments. Phytoplankton plays an important role in aquatic ecosystems because they serve as primary producers. They are representing the water total primary productivity and reinforcing the aquatic life on the higher food chain. Thus, any threats that endangered the population of phytoplankton can lead to trophical cascade or even worse, biodiversity loss. The exposure of cadmium in high concentration to phytoplankton can lead to various impact including cell damage and disruption, biosynthesis inhibition of photosynthetic pigment (e.g. chlorophyll and carotenoid), chlorphyll degradation or known as chlorosis, thylakoid membrane degradation, inhibition of cellular metabolism and cell division. It is important to study the impact of cadmium to phytoplankton in a cellular level to better understand what mechanism lies and to what extent that the cadmium will be transferred to higher trophical organism via bioaccumulation or biomagnification.
  • Department of Fisheries, Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Science, Universitas Padjadjaran, Indonesia
  • Tropical Marine and Fisheries Laboratory, Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Science, Universitas Padjadjaran, Indonesia
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