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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]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2018 Elsevier Ltd.

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:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems
UTAS Author:Farias, DR (Mrs Daniela Farias)
UTAS Author:Hurd, CL (Professor Catriona Hurd)
UTAS Author:Eriksen, RS (Dr Ruth Eriksen)
UTAS Author:Macleod, CK (Professor Catriona MacLeod)
ID Code:124041
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:46
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2018-02-07
Last Modified:2019-02-15

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