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Title: Assessment of the health quality of Ria de Aveiro (Portugal): heavy metals and benthic foraminifera
Author: Martins, Virgínia A.
Frontalini, Fabrizio
Tramonte, Keila M.
Figueira, Rubens C. L.
Miranda, Paulo
Sequeira, Cristina
Fernández-Fernández, Sandra
Dias, João A.
Yamashita, Cintia
Renó, Raquel
Laut, Lazaro L. M.
Silva, Frederico S.
Rodrigues, Maria Antonieta da C.
Bernardes, Cristina
Nagai, Renata
Sousa, Silvia H. M.
Mahiques, Michel
Rubio, Belén
Bernabeu, Ana
Rey, Daniel
Rocha, Fernando
Keywords: Benthic foraminifera
Coastal lagoon
Metals bioavailability
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Elsevier
Abstract: This work analyses the distribution of heavy metals in the sediments of Ria de Aveiro (Portugal) assessed by total digestion and sequential chemical extraction of the sediments. The influence of environmental parameters on the living benthic foraminiferal assemblages was studied. The most polluted parts in the Ria de Aveiro are areas where the residence time is high and cohesive sediments are deposited. Organic matter, which is an excellent scavenger for a number of metals, is in general more abundant in the finer deposits of this lagoon, which act as sinks of anthropogenic pollutants. This condition is observed in Aveiro canals and Murtosa channel where sediments with the highest concentrations of Zn, Pb, Cu, and Cr are found. The sediments of Murtosa channel are also enriched in As, Co and Hg. In Aveiro canals the enrichment of heavy metals is mostly related to the past industrial production at their margins (ceramic and metallurgy), whereas in Murtosa channel with effluent discharges of the Chemical Complex of Estarreja. Foraminiferal density and diversity reach higher values near the lagoon mouth under higher marine influence and decline in general under very low-oxygen conditions. Some species seems to be indifferent to the increasing of TOC (e.g. Haynesina germanica and Ammonia tepida) and some have an opportunistic behaviour in areas with very depressed levels of oxygen (e.g. A. tepida and Quinqueloculina seminulum) whereas other species can better tolerate sulphide/reducing conditions (e.g. H. germanica, Bolivina ordinaria, Buliminella elegantissima, Bulimina elongata/. gibba and Nonionella stella) a widespread condition in this lagoon. Foraminiferal density and some species are negatively correlated with concentrations of heavy metals. A most sensitive group of species to higher concentrations of heavy metals is identified (such as B. ordinaria, B. pseudoplicata and B. elongata/. gibba) and another one of more tolerant species (such as H. germanica A. tepida and Q. seminulum). Foraminifera are more tolerate higher available concentrations (AC) of Zn in any phase than higher AC of Cu adsorbed do clay minerals (F1) and associated with Fe and Mn oxides (F2) and of Pb in F2; the phase F2, probably the most mobile phase, and even phase F1 seems to be more toxic than the increasing of metals in organic matter (F3).
Peer review: yes
DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2013.02.003
ISSN: 0025-326x
Appears in Collections:CESAM - Artigos
GeoBioTec - Artigos

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