, Volume 167, Issue 1-4, pp 653-661
Date: 15 Jul 2009

Macroalgae and DGT as indicators of available trace metals in marine coastal waters near a lead–zinc smelter

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The levels of Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn were determined in the commonest species of green, red, and brown algae collected from five coastal sites in south-western Sardinia (Italy), an area with a long history of mining and smelting. The usefulness of employing Enteromorpha sp. and Padina pavonica (L.) Thivy to monitor metal pollution was evaluated, while diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT) devices were used to measure dissolved metals in seawater. Levels of Cd and Pb were high enough to be of environmental concern in the whole study area. A significant relationship was found between the content of Pb in P. pavonica and DGT-labile Pb in seawater, suggesting that gross elemental concentrations of nonessential metals such as Pb in algal tissues are apparently controlled by the abundance of dissolved metal species in the ambient seawater. The results pointed out the usefulness of using both DGT and algal methods for a better understanding of trace metal availability in coastal waters.