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Assessment of trace elements pollution in sea ports of New South Wales (NSW), Australia using macrophytobenthic plant Ecklonia radiata as a bio-indicator

Jahan, Sayka, Strezov, Vladimir
Chemosphere 2019 v.218 pp. 643-651
Ecklonia radiata, aluminum, arsenic, barium, bioaccumulation, boron, cluster analysis, copper, ecosystems, indicator species, iron, lead, macroalgae, manganese, multivariate analysis, pollution, principal component analysis, sediments, variance, zinc, New South Wales
In this study seaweeds (Ecklonia radiata) from six major sea ports of NSW, Australia were used as a bioindicator to assess the distribution and levels of trace elements accumulation in the ports compared to the background ecosystem. Bioconcentration ratio (BCR), biota sediment accumulation factor (BSAF), enrichment factor, multivariate statistical analysis and hierarchical cluster analysis were used to identify trace elements contamination. The results illustrate BCRs of Al, Fe, Mn, Zn, Pb, Cu, As and Ba in E. radiata whereas the BASFs portray boron enrichment in all sea ports along with bioaccumulation of As in Port Jackson and Pb in Port Botany. However, trace elements variations between studied and background locations was found to be significant for Port Kembla and Newcastle. The principal component analysis result explained four principal groups with 76.25% cumulative variance. Cluster analysis was further performed to detect major groups of elements and sites to portray interconnection between the contaminants and the locations.