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Comparative analysis of heavy metal accumulation and bioindication in three seagrasses: Which species is more suitable as a bioindicator?

Hu, Chengye, Yang, Xiaolong, Gao, Lijia, Zhang, Peidong, Li, Wentao, Dong, Jianyu, Li, Changjun, Zhang, Xiumei
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.669 pp. 41-48
Zostera marina, cadmium, chromium, coasts, copper, heavy metals, lead, monitoring, pollution, seagrasses, sediments, tissues, zinc, China
The present study aimed to assess the utilization of three seagrasses (Zostera marina, Z. japonica, and Z. caespitosa) along the eastern coast of the Shandong Peninsula as bioindicators of heavy metal pollution. Heavy metal concentrations (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb and Zn) were investigated in the sediments and in the aboveground and belowground tissues of seagrasses. The results show that the aboveground tissues of seagrasses accumulated higher levels of Cd and Cu (excluding Z. caespitosa), whereas other metals, such as Cr, Pb and Zn, were mainly restricted to the belowground tissues. Compared to Z. japonica and Z. caespitosa, Z. marina had a higher enrichment capacity for heavy metals. Overall, the seagrasses can reflect the levels of metals in the sediments, especially Z. marina, whose heavy metal tissue levels were significantly and positively correlated with the levels of all metals in the sediments. This study showed that Z. marina could be used as an effective bioindicator for heavy metal pollution of sediments in ecological quality monitoring programs in the future, at least in the temperate waters of China.