Natural selection for resistance to mercury pollution

R. Baker, B. Lavie, E. Nevo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The survival under conditions of mercury pollution of two natural populations of the marine gastropod Cerithium rupestre, derived from mercury-polluted and mercury-free sites, was tested in the laboratory. The results indicate a significantly higher survival rate for animals derived from the mercury-polluted site, in each of six repetitive experiments. We conclude that mercury resistance in marine organisms is reinforced in mercury polluted sites, presumably by natural selection for increased resistance. The evolution of metal tolerance in marine organisms may be as fast as that of metal tolerance in plants and the evolution of industrial melanisms in moths.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)697-699
Number of pages3
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1985


  • Cerithium rupestre
  • gastropods
  • mercury pollution
  • mercury resistance
  • metal tolerance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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