Marine Biology

, Volume 95, Issue 2, pp 315–321

Temporal variation of metals in the seagrass Posidonia australis and its potential as a sentinel accumulator near a lead smelter

  • T. J. Ward

DOI: 10.1007/BF00409019

Cite this article as:
Ward, T.J. Mar. Biol. (1987) 95: 315. doi:10.1007/BF00409019


Temporal variation in the concentrations of Cd, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn in leaves of the seagrass Posidonia australis was studied at three sites near a lead smelter on the shore of Spencer Gulf, a large hypersaline marine embayment in South Australia, on four occasions from October 1980 to September 1981. Concentrations of Cd, Mn, Pb and Zn of up to 541, 537, 379 and 4241 μg g-1, respectively, were found in leaves collected from the site nearest to the smelter. A substantial temporal variation in the concentrations of these metals in samples from all sites resulted from the combined effect of leaf age and collection strategy. Concentrations of Cd, Cu and Zn in the leaf epibiota were lower than those in the leaves, but the reverse was true for Mn and Ni. The use of seagrass leaves as sentinel accumulators for Cd, Pb and Zn must be based on collections made at the same time of year, or otherwise account for the effect of leaf age on concentrations of the metals in the samples.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. J. Ward
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.CSIRO Division of Fisheries ResearchMarine LaboratoriesHobartAustralia
  2. 2.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia