Article

Heavy metal pollution downstream the abandoned Coval da Mó mine (Portugal) and associated effects on epilithic diatom communities.

GeoBioTec - GeoBioSciences, GeoTechnologies and GeoEngineering Research Center and Department of Geosciences, University of Aveiro, Campus de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal.
Science of The Total Environment (Impact Factor: 3.16). 08/2009; 407(21):5620-36. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2009.06.047
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study examined trace-element concentrations in 39 sediment samples collected in the vicinity of the abandoned Coval da Mó mine, and evaluated the anthropogenic contaminant effects and other environmental variables in the taxonomic composition, structure and morphological changes of benthic diatom communities. The results show the existence of extremely high contamination in Pb, Zn and Cd (the mean values exceed the background values 376, 96 and 19 times, respectively) on the first 2.5 km in the water flow direction. Also Co, Cu, Mn and Ni are present in high concentrations. Dilution by relatively uncontaminated sediment reduces metal concentrations downstream, but Zn concentrations increase downstream Fílvida stream, as a result of several factors such as sewage and agriculture. To evaluate the biological effects caused by Pb, Cd and Zn, three sites were selected. In the stressed environment, near the mining area (C232), diatoms were extremely rare, however there was a slight recovery at site C79 located 2km downstream. Fragilaria capucina var. rumpens, Fragilaria cf. crotonensis and Achnanthidium minutissimum showed abnormal valves which may be related to high levels of metals. Six km downstream, in Fílvida stream (C85), an increase in species richness and diversity was registered while the relative percentage of valve teratologies was lower. In the absence of OM, nutrients and low pH the diatom community patterns must be attributed to the metal concentration at some sites. Considering that community diversity can be affected by abiotic and biotic variables and valve deformations are caused by a small number of variables, basically metals, and acid conditions, we consider the presence of teratologies as an indication of the presence of metals.

1 Bookmark
 · 
149 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The rehabilitation of French former uranium mining sites has not prevented the contamination of the surrounding aquatic ecosystems with metal elements. This study assesses the impact of the discharge of treated uranium mining effluents on periphytic diatom communities to evaluate their potential of bioindication. A 7-month survey was conducted on the Ritord watercourse to measure the environmental conditions of microalgae, the non-taxonomic attributes of periphyton (photosynthesis and biomass) and to determine the specific composition of diatom assemblages grown on artificial substrates. The environmental conditions were altered by the mine waters, that contaminate the watercourse with uranium and with chemicals used in the pit-water treatment plants (BaCl2 and Al2(SO4)3). The biomass and photosynthetic activity of periphyton seemed not to respond to the stress induced by the treated mining effluents whereas the altered environmental conditions clearly impacted the composition of diatom communities. Downstream the discharges, the communities tended to be characterized by indicator species belonging to the genera Fragilaria, Eunotia and Brachysira and were highly similar to assemblages at acid mine drainage sites. The species Eunotia pectinalis var. undulata, Psammothidium rechtensis, Gomphonema lagenula and Pinnularia major were found to be sensitive to uranium effluents whereas Neidium alpinum and several species of Gomphonema tolerated this contamination. The relevance of diatoms as ecological indicator was illustrated through the changes in structure of communities induced by the discharge of uranium mining effluents and creates prospects for development of a bioindicator tool for this kind of impairment of water quality.
    Ecotoxicology 08/2013; · 2.77 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The spatial and temporal variations of Fe, K, Co, V, Cr, Cu, Ni, Zn, and Pb were determined in the sediments of Taihu Lake, the third largest freshwater lake in China and categorized into natural origin (Fe, K, Co, and V) and human contamination (Cr, Cu, Ni, Zn, and Pb) groups by principal component analysis. Most of the metals were positively correlated with the clay content (<4 μm) and negatively correlated with the >16 μm fraction, indicating the dominant role of grain size in regulating metals concentrations. Geochemical normalization and enrichment factors (EFs) were introduced to reduce the confounding of variable grain size and to quantify anthropogenic contributions. Higher EF values for Cr, Cu, Ni, and Zn occurred in the north Zhushan, Meiliang, and Gonghu Bays, indicating a high level of human contamination from the northern cities, such as Wuxi and Changzhou. Higher EF values of Pb were also present in the southwest and east lake areas, denoting the existence of additional anthropogenic sources. Chrome, Cu, Ni, Zn, and Pb showed increasing EF values in the top layers of sediment cores, indicating enhancing contamination since 1970s with rapid economy development in the catchment. These results indicate that geochemical normalization is a necessary and effective method in quantifying heavy metals contamination, and that historic sediment should be used as background values in calculating EFs. Potential risks of the heavy metals were assessed linking the consensus-based sediment quality guidelines and human contamination. Concentrations of Ni and Cr are greater than the threshold effect concentration (TEC) values, even in the sediments before 1970s, due to higher background concentrations in terrestrial parent materials. Concentrations of Ni and Cr are generally lower than the probable effect concentration (PEC) values, and concentrations of Cu and Zn are below the TEC values in the open lake areas. Whereas, concentrations of Ni and Cr are surpassing the PEC values and Cu and Zn are surpassing the TEC values in the north bays due to the high level of human contamination, where they were with EFs over 1.2, denoting higher potential eco-risks.
    Environmental earth sciences 67(1). · 1.45 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Several decades after the closure of the Ingurtosu mine (SW Sardinia), a variety of seasonal Zn biomineralizations occurs. In this work, waters, microbial consortia, and seasonal precipitates from the Naracauli stream were sampled to investigate chemical composition of stream waters and biominerals, and microbial strain identity. Molecular and morphological analysis revealed that activity of dominant cyanobacterium Leptolyngbya frigida results in precipitation of Zn silicate. The activity of the cyanobacterium was associated to other bacteria and many kind of diatoms, such as Halamphora subsalina and Encyonopsis microcephala, which are trapped in the process of biomineral growth. In this work, the precipitation process is shown to be the result of many different parameters such as hydrologic regime, microbial community adaptation, and biological mediation. It results in a decrease of dissolved Zn in the stream water, and is a potential tool for Zn pollution abatement.
    Environmental Science and Pollution Research 07/2013; · 2.76 Impact Factor

Full-text

View
73 Downloads
Available from
May 21, 2014