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Relationships between potentially toxic elements in intertidal sediments and their bioaccumulation by benthic invertebrates

Sizmur, T., Campbell, L., Dracott, K., Jones, M., O’Driscoll, N. J. and Gerwing, T. (2019) Relationships between potentially toxic elements in intertidal sediments and their bioaccumulation by benthic invertebrates. PLoS ONE, 14 (9). e0216767. ISSN 1932-6203

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0216767

Abstract/Summary

The bioaccumulation of Potentially Toxic Elements (PTEs) by benthic invertebrates in estuarine sediments is poorly understood. We sampled and analysed PTEs in sediments and benthic invertebrates from five sites in the Skeena Estuary (British Columbia, Canada), including sites adjacent to an abandoned cannery and a decommissioned papermill. Our aim was to elucidate baseline levels of PTE concentrations at sites that may be recovering from disturbance associated with prior industrial development and identify organisms that could be used to biomonitor the impact of future industrial developments. There was no indication that sediments of the salmon cannery were polluted, but acidic sediments adjacent to the papermill contained elevated concentrations of Cd, Cr, Hg and Pb. Benthic invertebrate community assemblages confirm that sediments have mostly recovered from prior industrial development associated with discharge of papermill sludge. Overall, we did not observe any relationship between PTE concentrations in the sediment and PTE concentrations in invertebrate tissues. However, we did observe a negative relationship between sediment pH and the Biota-Sediment Accumulation Factor (BSAF) of most PTEs for Oregon pill bugs (Gnorimosphaeroma oregonensis). G. oregonensis, observed at all sites, feeds on the fibers associated with the papermill discharge. Thus, G. oregonensis is a useful biomonitors for quantifying the impact of the decommissioned papermill, and are candidate biomonitors for assessing the impact of similar industrial development projects on intertidal ecosystems.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Chemical Analysis Facility (CAF)
Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Earth Systems Science
Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Chemical Analysis Facility (CAF) > Mass Spectrometry (CAF)
ID Code:86309
Publisher:Public Library of Science

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