Inhibition of mussel suspension feeding by surfactants of three classes

Inhibition of mussel suspension feeding by surfactants of three classes.


Hydrobiologia, 2006, Volume: 556, Pages: 381-386.;

In 2006, an important series of experiments on ecotoxicology of detergents was published in the journal HYDROBIOLOGIA, (2006, Volume: 556, Pages: 381-386) by an international team of researchers. This was the first paper that reported the experiments that showed that all three main kinds of synthetic surfactants (detergent chemicals) slow down the filtration of water by key marine organisms, filter-feeders, bivalves, namely, the marine mussels of the Atlantic Ocean (Mytilus edulis).


Online, key links to this article:;;

Sergei A. Ostroumov, John Widdows,
Authors affiliation:
Moscow State University, Plymouth Marine Laboratory,
marine mussels, Mytilus edulis, surfactants, detergents, toxicology, protection of environment, water quality, pollution, marine, aquatic, new, water, filtration,

Article: Imbalance of Factors Providing Control of Unicellular Plankton Populations Exposed to Anthropogenic Impact.

Article: Imbalance of Factors Providing Control of Unicellular Plankton Populations Exposed to Anthropogenic Impact.

2001Volume 379 pp. 341-3.43;

S. A. Ostroumov;

DOI  10.1023/A:1011600213221;



Ostroumov S.A. Imbalance of factors providing control of unicellular plankton populations exposed to anthropogenic impact. – Doklady Biological Sciences, 2001. Vol. 379, P. 341-343. 4 tables. Bibliogr.12 refs. (Translated from DAN 2001. Vol. 379. P.136-138). ISSN 0012-4966 (Print) 1608-3105 (Online). PMID: 12918370 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]. The paper presents and analyzes new experimental data on the effects of chemical pollution of aquatic medium on the abundance of unicellular plankton organisms. The following 6 types of effects of filter-feeders and chemical pollutants [surfactants and detergents (mixtures)] on phytoplankton organisms were found (examples were given in this paper in Tab.2): (1) Inhibition of growth (and abundance); (2) Growth stimulation in the presence of surfactants and detergents; (3) Decrease in abundance as a result of elimination of plankton cells from water by the freshwater mollusks Unio tumidus and rotifers; (4) Abundance decrease as a result of water filtration by the marine mollusks Mytilus edulis, M. galloprovincialis, and Crassostrea gigas; (5) Decrease in the efficiency of cell elimination from water caused by the TX-100-induced (5 mg/l) inhibition of the filtration activity of the freshwater mollusks U. tumidus; (6) Decrease in the efficiency of cell elimination from water as a result of inhibition of the filtration activity of the marine mollusks Mytilus galloprovincialis and Crassostrea gigas induced by surfactants and Avon Herbal Care (hair shampoo). A new parameter and formula were suggested: the efficiency of cell elimination from water, ECE. The following maximum values of ECE were found (at the concentrations of the chemical, mg/l, in brackets): (1) Detergent OMO, Unio tumidus, 186.7 (50); (2) Detergent Losk-Universal, Mytilus galloprovincialis, 551.7 (7); (3) Detergent Tide-Lemon, Mytilus galloprovincialis, 206.9 (50); (4) Detergent IXI, M. galloprovincialis, 157.8 (10); (5) Detergent Deni-Automat, Crassostrea gigas, 10 800.0 (30); (6) Detergent Lanza, Crassostrea gigas, 261.7 (20); (7) Detergent Vesna-Delikat, Crassostrea gigas, 200.0 (1); 

The tables in the paper: 

Factors of regulation of unicellular plankton abundance (Tab.1); effects of surfactants and detergents on phytoplankton abundance (Tab.2); 7 detergents inhibit filtration of 3 species of marine and freshwater molluscs (Tab.3); Mytilus galloprovincialis eliminates from water the cells of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and algae Pavlova lutheri = M. lutheri as a result of filtration (comparing the 2 processes at the same time, Tab. 4). 



 CONCLUSIONS. The results obtained in this work demonstrated and proved that certain pollutants might cause a substantial imbalance of the factors controlling unicellular plankton populations. Direct and indirect (mediated by organisms-consumers) effects of certain surfactant-containing mixtures on unicellular plankton could sum with each other, giving rise to mutual amplification. This may cause a complete imbalance of the system. The conclusions made in this work may be applied to unicellular plankton of both marine and freshwater ecosystems, including ecosystems subjected to eutrophication. The results contribute to issues of environmental safety and resource use sustainability. DOI 10.1023/A:1011600213221;


water_quality, water, unio, tumidus, theory, sustainable_use, suspension_feeders, shampoo, services, self-purification, regulation, quality, pollution, pollutants, plankton_populations, phytoplankton_control, pavlova, mytilus, lutheri, gigas, galloprovincialis, filter-feeders, eutrophication_prevention, environmental_safety, ecosystems, ecosystem, ecological_stability, detergents, crassostrea, control, bioeffects, aquatic, ecosystems, aquatic_biota, aquaculture, marine, гидробиология, моллюски, качество воды, самоочищение, аквакультура, марикультура,

Unio tumidus,  Mytilus galloprovincialis,  Mytilus edulis,  Crassostrea gigas, 

Seafood: New threat to aquaculture of marine mussels … and cultural heritage of Europe

  New threat to aquaculture of marine mussels
This is about the bivalve mollusk, blue mussel Mytilus edulis.


Marine mussels are a source of delicious and healthy food. Marine mussels are a staple of many seafood dishes in various cuisines including Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Belgian, and others …
They are cultivated as aquaculture.

The pictures of these mollusks, with the Latin name Mytilus edulis, are given below.


The life cycle of marine mussels is presented here:


The geographical range of this species is on the map:


Discovery, scientific innovation.

New research discovered a new threat to marine mussels. It was found [2-7] that the mussels decreased their water filtration rate under the effect of some synthetic chemicals that pollute seawater. The name of these organic chemicals is surfactants (surface active substances, surface active agents). The surfactants are the key foam-forming component of detergents and shampoos.

Additional scientific information.

More about the effects of surfactants see in the blogs [1], and in the scientific papers [2 – 7 ].
This post is the forth one, to continue the series of posts on environmental and ecological issues [1-3].

Mussels and cultural heritage: poetry

Marine mussels  were mentioned in the song – the song that tells the fictional tale of a beautiful fishmonger :

In Dublin’s fair city,
Where the girls are so pretty,
I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone,
As she wheeled her wheel-barrow,
Through streets broad and narrow,
Crying, “Cockles and mussels, alive, alive,
[“Molly Malone” (also known as “Cockles and Mussels” or “In Dublin’s Fair City“),
a popular song, set in Dublin, Ireland,
which has become the unofficial anthem of Dublin City]


A legend grew up that there was a lady Molly, who lived in the 17th century.

In some books, she  is  represented as a hawker by day and part-time prostitute by night [8].

In 1988 the Dublin Millennium Commission endorsed claims concerning a Molly Malone who died on 13 June 1699, and proclaimed 13 June to be “Molly Malone day”  [8].

The Molly Malone statue:

The Molly Malone statue in Grafton Street (Dublin) was unveiled by Lord Mayor of Dublin, Alderman Ben Briscoe during the 1988 Dublin Millennium celebrations, declaring 13 June as Molly Malone Day.

This poem and song became really important.

Therefore, conservation and survival of this species of bivalve mollusks is important from various perspectives: not only for reasons of food but also for reasons of cultural heritage.

References (marine mussels Mytilus edulis were studied):

Venus, or Aphrodite, goddess of love, Environment, Water and Ecology. Environmental role of synthetic surfactants

[2] Inhibitory analysis of top-down control: new keys to studying eutrophication, algal blooms, and water self-purification. – Hydrobiologia, Vol. 469, No. 1. , pp. 117-129, [Improving water quality, sustainability, environment safety];


[3] An Amphiphilic Substance Inhibits the Mollusk Capacity to Filter out Phytoplankton Cells from Water. – Biology Bulletin, Vol. 28, No. 1. , pp. 95-102, doi:10.1023/A:1026671024000


[4] Studying effects of some surfactants and detergents on filter-feeding bivalves. – Hydrobiologia, Vol. 500, No. 1. , pp. 341-344, doi:10.1023/A:1024604904065;
[5] О биотическом самоочищении водных экосистем. Элементы теории. – Доклады Академии Наук (ДАН, Doklady Akademii Nauk). Vol.396. No. 1. p.136-141 :,,;
[6] Some aspects of water filtering activity of filter-feeders; In: Aquatic Biodiversity II, (edited by: H. Segers, K. Martens) Vol. 180, pp. 275-286, doi:10.1007/1-4020-4111-X_26;

[7] Also see:;

[8] Siobhán Marie Kilfeather, Dublin: a cultural history, Oxford University Press US, 2005, p. 6.


interesting posts on innovations in environmental science:;;;;;;;;;;

A new way of mining gold from water? Environment, Nanomaterials, Water, Gold. Know-how using biological

Discovery of the key role of organisms that filter water and make it clear

Venus, or Aphrodite, goddess of love, Environment, Water and Ecology. Environmental role of synthetic surfactants

Will wars of future be related to modern science and theories of ecology? Key issues, water quality: scientific fundamentals, achievements, discoveries, bibliography

Discoveries, innovations in environmental sciences, ecology

New facts on hazardous biological and toxic effects of surfactants and detergents: paradigm shifted

On the author:

ecological, discoveries, 2012, science, terminological,

key words: New threat, aquaculture, marine mussels, blue mussel, Mytilus edulis, staple food, seafood, dishes, cuisines, pollution, detergents, surfactants, water quality, environmental toxicology, аквакультура, мидии, детергенты,