Article

Sediment integrative assessment of the Bay of Cadiz (Spain): An ecotoxicological and chemical approach

Instituto de Ciencias Marinas de Andalucía, Campus Universitario Río San Pedro s/n, 11510, Puerto Real, Cádiz, Spain.
Environment international (Impact Factor: 5.66). 04/2009; 35(6):831-41. DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2009.02.003
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study consisted of the sediment toxicity assessment of the Bay of Cádiz based on two endpoints: growth inhibition for Cylindrotheca closterium (benthic microalgae) and fecundity inhibition for Tisbe battagliai (harpacticoid copepod). A new methodology to eliminate (but not as storage technique) the autochthonous biota present in the sediment samples by immersing them in liquid nitrogen (-196 degrees C) was also assessed. Sediment toxicity data showed different toxicity levels for both organisms. In general, T. battagliai was more sensitive; however a good correlation (r=0.75; p<0.05) between sediment toxicity results for both species was found. Data in pore water (pH, redox potential, and toxicity for microalgae and copepod) and sediment (pH, redox potential, organic carbon, and metal concentrations) demonstrated that ultra-freezing did not alter sample characteristics; thus, this technique can be adopted as a pre-treatment in whole-sediment toxicity tests in order to avoid misleading results due to presence of autochthonous biota. Multivariate statistical analysis such as cluster and principal component analysis using chemical and ecotoxicological data were employed. Silt and organic matter percentage and lead concentration were found to be the factors that explain about 77% of sediment toxicity in the Bay of Cádiz. Assay methodology determined in this study for both assayed species is considered adequate to be used in sediment toxicity monitoring programs. Results obtained using both species show that the Bay of Cádiz can be considered a moderately polluted zone.

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