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Bioavailability of trace metals in sediments of a recovering freshwater coastal wetland in China's Yellow River Delta, and risk assessment for the macrobenthic community

Yang, Wei, Li, Xiaoxiao, Pei, Jun, Sun, Tao, Shao, Dongdong, Bai, Junhong, Li, Yanxia
Chemosphere 2017 v.189 pp. 661-671
arsenic, bioaccumulation, bioavailability, cadmium, copper, ecosystems, freshwater, littoral zone, manganese, risk, risk assessment, river deltas, sediments, wetlands, China, Yellow River
We investigated the speciation of trace metals and their ecological risks to macrobenthic communities in a recovering coastal wetland of China's Yellow River Delta during the freshwater release project. We established 16 sampling sites in three restoration areas and one intertidal reference area, and collected sediments and macrobenthos four times from 2014 to 2015. The instability index for the trace metals showed a moderate risk for Mn and a high risk for Cd. For both Mn and Cd, the carbonate and FeMn-bound fractions appear to contribute mostly to the instability and bioavailability indexes, but for Cd, the exchangeable fraction also have a much higher contribution. The bioavailability index indicated higher bioavailability of trace metals in freshwater restoration areas than that in the intertidal area. The single-factor contamination index indicated that most trace metal concentrations in the macrobenthos were in excess of the national standard. The biota-sediment accumulation factor suggested that the macrobenthos accumulated most As, Cd, and Cu. Redundancy analysis showed clear relationships between the macrobenthos and sediment metal concentrations. Our results will help wetland managers to assess the bioaccumulation risks based on metal speciation, and to improve management of these recovering freshwater wetland ecosystems.