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Macrophytes as bioindicators of heavy metal pollution in estuarine and coastal environments


Farias, DR and Hurd, CL and Eriksen, RS and Macleod, CK, Macrophytes as bioindicators of heavy metal pollution in estuarine and coastal environments, Marine Pollution Bulletin, 128 pp. 175-184. ISSN 0025-326X (2018) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2018.01.023


The Derwent estuary, in Tasmania (Australia), is highly contaminated with heavy metals with significant levels in both sediments and benthic fauna. However, little is known about metal content in benthic primary producers. We characterized metal content (Arsenic, Cadmium, Copper, Lead, Selenium and Zinc) in twelve species of macrophyte, including red, green, and brown algae, and seagrasses, from the Derwent. The metals, arsenic, copper, lead, and Zinc were detected in all of the macrophytes assessed, but the levels differed between species. Seagrasses accumulated the highest concentrations of all metals; with Zn levels being particularly high in the seagrass Ruppia megacarpa (from the upper Estuary) and Pb was detected in Zostera muelleri (from the middle estuary). Ulva australis was ubiquitous throughout the middle-lower estuary and accumulated Zn in relatively high concentrations. The findings suggest that analysis of multiple species may be necessary for a comprehensive understanding of estuary-wide metal pollution.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:heavy metals, pollution, bio-monitoring, seaweed, seagrass
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Plant Biology
Research Field:Phycology (incl. Marine Grasses)
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Ecosystem Assessment and Management
Objective Field:Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Coastal and Estuarine Environments
Author:Farias, DR (Mrs Daniela Farias Aqueveque)
Author:Hurd, CL (Associate Professor Catriona Hurd)
Author:Eriksen, RS (Dr Ruth Eriksen)
Author:Macleod, CK (Associate Professor Catriona MacLeod)
ID Code:124041
Year Published:2018
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2018-02-07
Last Modified:2018-02-07

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