Calculation and uses of mean sediment quality guideline quotients: a critical review.
ABSTRACT Fine-grained sediments contaminated with complex mixtures of organic and inorganic chemical contaminants can be toxic in laboratory tests and/or cause adverse impacts to resident benthic communities. Effects-based, sediment quality guidelines (SQGs) have been developed over the past 20 years to aid in the interpretation of the relationships between chemical contamination and measures of adverse biological effects. Mean sediment quality guideline quotients (mSQGQ) can be calculated by dividing the concentrations of chemicals in sediments by their respective SQGs and calculating the mean of the quotients for the individual chemicals. The resulting index provides a method of accounting for both the presence and the concentrations of multiple chemicals in sediments relative to their effects-based guidelines. Analyses of considerable amounts of data demonstrated that both the incidence and magnitude of toxicity in laboratory tests and the incidence of impairment to benthic communities increases incrementally with increasing mSQGQs. Such concentration/response relationships provide a basis for estimating toxicological risks to sediment-dwelling organisms associated with exposure to contaminated sediments with a known degree of accuracy. This sediment quality assessment tool has been used in numerous surveys and studies since 1994. Nevertheless, mean SQGQs have some important limitations and underlying assumptions that should be understood by sediment quality assessors. This paper provides an overview of the derivation methods and some of the principal advantages, assumptions, and limitations in the use of this sediment assessmenttool. Ideally, mean SQGQs should be included with other measures including results of toxicity tests and benthic community surveys to provide a weight of evidence when assessing the relative quality of contaminated sediments.
- SourceAvailable from: Graeme F Clark[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Ecosystems modified by human activities are generally predicted to be biologically impoverished. However, much pollution impact theory stems from laboratory or small-scale field studies, and few studies replicate at the level of estuary. Furthermore, assessments are often based on sediment contamination and infauna, and impacts to epibiota (sessile invertebrates and algae) are seldom considered. We surveyed epibiota in six estuaries in south-east Australia. Half the estuaries were relatively pristine, and half were subject to internationally high levels of contamination, urbanisation, and industrialisation. Contrary to predictions, epibiota in modified estuaries had greater coverage and were similarly diverse as those in unmodified estuaries. Change in epibiota community structure was linearly correlated with sediment-bound copper, and the tubeworm Hydroides elegans showed a strong positive correlation with sediment metals. Stressors such as metal contamination can reduce biodiversity and productivity, but others such as nutrient enrichment and resource provision may obscure signals of impact.Environmental Pollution 01/2015; 196:12–20. · 3.90 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Sediment samples collected from the West Port, the west coastal waters of Malaysia, were analyzed by standard methods to determine the degree of hydrocarbon contamination and identify the sources of polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Concentrations of PAHs in the port sediments ranged from 100.3 to 3,446.9 μg/kg dw. The highest concentrations were observed in stations close to the coastline, locations affected by intensive shipping activities and industrial input. These were dominated by high-molecular-weight PAHs (4–6 rings). Source identification showed that PAHs originated mostly pyrogenically, from the combustion of fossil fuels, grass, wood, and coal or from petroleum combustion. Regarding ecological risk estimation, only station 7 was moderately polluted, the rest of the stations suffered rare or slight adverse biological effects with PAH exposure in surface sediment, suggesting that PAHs are not considered as contaminants of concern in the West Port.Environmental earth sciences 05/2013; 71(10):4319-4332. · 1.57 Impact Factor
Article: Freshwater Sediment Quality in Spain[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: This study was carried out to evaluate sediment pollution related to trace elements such as Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn, Hg, As and Cr and eight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in 127 sites located in 85 rivers in Spain. Sediment samples were classified according to similar chemical characteristics by means of statistical multivariate techniques (principal component analysis, PCA) and artificial neural networks such as self-organizing maps (SOM). Sediment sample classification provided by PCA was not as useful as the one provided by the SOM, revealing itself as a powerful tool to be incorporated in the first steps of sediment quality assessments. The use of sediment quality guidelines such as the mean-probable effects concentration quotient (m-PECQ) predicted sediment quality and gave an overall view of sediment pollution throughout Spain. Most of the samples (118 out of 127) showed m-PECQ values below 0.5 highlighting their relative low potential risk to cause adverse effects on the benthic fauna. However, some samples presented m-PECQ values higher than 0.5 suggesting a clear potential risk to these fauna. Besides, unusual high concentrations of trace elements and PAHs were related to the human activities carried out near each sampling point.Environmental earth sciences 10/2014; 72(8):2917-2929. · 1.57 Impact Factor