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Title of article :
Influence of halophytes and metal contamination on salt marsh macro-benthic communities
Author/Authors :
Carmen G. C. Vinagre، نويسنده , , H.N. Cabral، نويسنده , , I. Caçador، نويسنده ,
Issue Information :
روزنامه با شماره پیاپی سال 2008
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Abstract :
Since an important fraction of the organic matter produced by salt marshes is decomposed in situ, macro-benthic communities are particularly exposed to the trace metals retained by these systems. Yet, few studies have investigated the macro-benthic communities using the between-root sediment habitat of the salt marsh halophytes (salt-tolerant plants), or the effect of trace metal pollution on its population dynamics. In the present study, samples were collected in vegetated and unvegetated sediment, in three salt marshes in the Tagus estuary, for trace metal concentration determination in the sediment and in the halophytes roots, grain size determination and macro-benthic organism identification. Data analysis revealed that the distribution of macro-benthic organisms is mainly determined by metal contamination, metal type and by the presence/absence of halophytes, not by the halophyte species. Five different associations were identified: resistant organisms were associated with the highest concentrations of lead (sediment); tolerant organisms with zinc, copper (sediment and roots) and lead (roots); cadmium in the sediment with a lack of macro-benthic life; sensitive organisms with low levels of metals except for cadmium in the roots; and macro-benthos typical of intertidal mudflats with unvegetated areas with low metal contamination.
Keywords :
Salt marsh , halophytes , Tagus Estuary , macro-benthos , trace metals
Journal title :
Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
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