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Bioaccumulation and toxicity studies of macroalgae (Charophyceae) treated with aluminium: Experimental studies in the context of lake restoration

Rybak, Michał, Kołodziejczyk, Agata, Joniak, Tomasz, Ratajczak, Izabela, Gąbka, Maciej
Ecotoxicology and environmental safety 2017 v.145 pp. 359-366
Chara, acidification, aluminum, bioaccumulation factor, chlorides, coagulants, cortex, flaking, ions, lakes, littoral zone, macroalgae, necrosis, surface water, thallus, toxicity, toxicity testing
The objective of this study was to examine the impact of aluminium on the perennial macroalgae Chara hispida L. and its bioaccumulation capacities. Aluminium (Al) was introduced into the environment in the form of polyaluminium chloride, an agent utilized in the restoration of waterbodies. Research was conducted in an experimental setting using mesocosms (volume 0.8m3) placed in the littoral zone of a lake with C. hispida. Three doses of the coagulant were applied, each with a different volume: low – 6.1g Al m−3, medium – 12.2gm−3 and high – 24.5g Al m−3. A significant acidification of environment was determined, which would imply the presence of toxic Al3+ ions. It has been demonstrated that aluminium penetrates and accumulates in the cells of the charophyte. This caused damage to the thalli, which manifested itself in chloroses, necroses, flaking of the cortex cells and softening of the thallus, whose severity was proportionate to the dose of the coagulant. The first negative signs were observed after 24h. The study shows that C. hispida is a poor accumulator of aluminium (bioconcentration factor < 200), while bioaccumulation capacity was inhibited at the concentration of approx. 2.0mg Al g−1 d.w. Accumulation in the thalli of the charophytes accounted for 58% of variation following removal of aluminium from the environment. The results of the experiment demonstrate a negative impact of aluminium on charophytes at concentrations used in aggressive restoration of lakes.