Bioaccumulation of metals by Fucus ceranoides in estuaries of South West England
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Fucus ceranoides tolerates abiotic conditions encountered across the full range of estuarine salinities. We examined the bioaccumulation of metals in individuals and metal concentrations in accompanying sediment samples collected at different locations along estuaries of South West England. Intra- and inter-estuarine variations in metal accumulation by F. ceranoides, after correction for particulate contamination using Fe as a proxy, were attributed to variations in the availabilities and concentrations of aqueous metals. Greatest accumulation was observed in estuaries that remain most heavily impacted by historical mining activities and for metals that were mobilised to the greatest extent during these operations (As, Cu, Sn, Zn). Arsenic concentrations displayed a seaward increase in estuaries in which multiple samples were taken, whereas Cd concentrations were always greatest in samples collected from the most landward locations. Ongoing research aims to better understand the mechanisms and kinetics of metal interactions with F. ceranoides and their dependence on salinity.
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