Marine Biology

, Volume 95, Issue 2, pp 315–321 | Cite as

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

  • T. J. Ward
Article

Abstract

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.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature cited

  1. Brinkhuis, B. H., W. F. Penello and A. C. Churchill: Cadmium and manganese flux in eelgrass Zostera marina. II. Metal uptake by leaf and root-rhizome tissues. Mar. Biol. 58, 187–196 (1980)Google Scholar
  2. Brix, H. and J. E. Lyngby: The distribution of cadmium, copper, lead and zinc in eelgrass (Zostera marina L). Sci. total Envir. 24, 51–63 (1982)Google Scholar
  3. Brix, H. and J. E. Lyngby: The distribution of some metallic elements in eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) and sediment in the Limfjord, Denmark. Estuar., cstl Shelf Sci. 16, 455–467 (1983)Google Scholar
  4. Brix, H., J. E. Lyngby and H. E. Schierup: Eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) as an indicator organism of trace metals in the Limfjord, Denmark. Mar. envirl Res. 8, 165–181 (1983)Google Scholar
  5. Bryan, G. W. and L. G. Hummerstone: Indicators of heavy-metal contamination in the Looe Estuary (Cornwall) with particular regard to silver and lead. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K. 57, 75–92 (1977)Google Scholar
  6. Bulthuis, D. A.: Effects of in situ light reduction on density and growth of the seagrass Heterozostera tasmanica (Martens ex Aschers) den Hartog in Western Port, Victoria, Australia. J. exp. mar. Biol. Ecol. 67, 91–103 (1983)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Burchmore, J. J., D. A. Pollard and J. D. Bell: Community structure and tophic relationships of the fish fauna of an estuarine Posidonia australis seagrass habitat in Port Hacking, New South Wales. Aquat. Bot. 18, 71–87 (1984)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dennison, W. C. and R. S. Alberte: Photosynthetic responses of Zostera marina L. (eelgrass) to in situ manipulations of light intensity. Oecologia (Berl.) 55, 137–144 (1982)Google Scholar
  9. Dossis, P. and L. J. Warren: Zinc and lead in background and contaminated sediments from Spencer Gulf, South Australia. Envir. Sci. Technol. 15, 1451–1456 (1981)Google Scholar
  10. Drifmeyer, J. E., G. W. Thayer, F. A. Cross and J. C. Zieman: Cycling of Mn, Fe, Cu and Zn by eelgrass Zostera marina L. Am. J. Bot. 67, 1089–1096 (1980)Google Scholar
  11. Fabris, G. J., J. E. Harris and J. D. Smith: Uptake of cadmium by the seagrass Heterozostera tasmanica from Corio Bay and Western Port, Victoria. Aust. J. mar. Freshwat. Res. 33, 829–836 (1982)Google Scholar
  12. Gray, J. S. and T. H. Pearson: Objective selection of sensitive species indicative of pollution-induced change in benthic communities 1. Comparative methodology. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 9, 111–119 (1982)Google Scholar
  13. Harlin, M. M.: Seagrass epiphytes In: Handbook of seagrass biology; an ecosytem perspective, pp 117–152. Ed. by R. C. Phillips and C. P. McRoy. New York: Garland STPM Press 1980Google Scholar
  14. Harris, J. E., G. J. Fabris, P. J. Statham and F. Tawfik: Biogeochemistry of selected heavy metals in Western Port, Victoria, and use of invertebrates as indicators with emphasis on Mytilus edulis planulatus. Aust. J. mar. Freshwat. Res. 30, 159–178 (1979)Google Scholar
  15. Kirkman, H. and D. D. Reid: A study of the role of the seagrass Posidonia australis in the carbon budget of an estuary. Aquat. Bot. 7, 173–183 (1979)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Klumpp, D. W. and C. B. Burdon-Jones: Investigations of the potential of bivalve molluscs as indicators of heavy metal levels in tropical marine waters. Aust. J. mar. Freshwat. Res. 33, 285–300 (1982)Google Scholar
  17. Larkum, A. W. D.: Ecology of Botany Bay I. Growth of Posidonia australis (Brown) Hook. f. in Botany Bay and other bays of the Sydney Basin. Aust. J. mar. Freshwat. Res. 27, 117–127 (1976)Google Scholar
  18. Lyngby, J. E. and H. Brix: A comparison of eelgrass (Zostera marina L.), the common mussel (Mytilus edulis L.) and sediment for monitoring heavy metal pollution in coastal areas. In: Proceedings of the international conference of heavy metals in the environment, Heidelberg, September 1983. Vol. 2. pp 830–833 (1983)Google Scholar
  19. Lyngby, J. E. and H. Brix: The uptake of heavy metals in eelgrass Zostera marina and their effect on growth. Ecol. Bull., Stockholm 36, 81–89 (1984)Google Scholar
  20. McComb, A. J., M. L. Cambridge, H. Kirkman and J. Kuo: The biology of Australian seagrasses. In: The biology of Australian plants, pp 258–293. Ed. by J. S. Pate and A. J. McComb. Nedlands, Western Australia: University of Western Australia Press 1981Google Scholar
  21. McRoy, C. P. and C. Helfferich: Applied aspects of seagrasses. In: Handbook of seagrass biology; an ecosystem perspective, pp 297–343. Ed. by R. C. Phillips and C. P. McRoy. New York: Garland STPM Press 1980Google Scholar
  22. McRoy, C. P. and C. McMillan: Production ecology and physiology of seagrasses.. In: Seagrass ecosystems: a scientific perspective, pp 53–88. Ed. by C. P. McRoy and C. Helfferich. New York: Marcel Dekker 1977Google Scholar
  23. Phillips, D. J. H.: Quantitative aquatic biological indicators, 488 pp. London: Applied Science Publishers 1980Google Scholar
  24. Phillips, D. J. H. and D. A. Segar: Use of bio-indicators in monitoring conservative contaminants: programme design imperatives. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 17, 10–17 (1986)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Pollard, D. A.: A review of ecological studies on seagrass-fish communities, with particular reference to recent studies in Australia. Aquat. Bot. 18, 3–42 (1984)Google Scholar
  26. Pulich, W. M., Jr.: Heavy metal accumulation by selected Halodule wrightii Asch. populations in the Corpus Christi Bay area. Contrib. mar. Sci. Univ. Tex. 23, 89–100 (1980)Google Scholar
  27. Pulich, W. (M.), S. Barnes and P. Parker: Trace metal cycles in seagrass communities. In: Estuarine processes. Vol. I. Uses, stresses and adaptation to the estuary, pp 494–506. Ed. by M. Wiley. New York: Academic Press 1976Google Scholar
  28. Sokal, R. R. and F. J. Rohlf: Biometry. The principles and practice of statistics in biological research, 776 pp. San Francisco: Freeman & Co. 1969Google Scholar
  29. Ward, T. J.: The distribution of cadmium in shallow marine sediments, flora and fauna near a lead smelter, Spencer Gulf, South Australia. In: Cadmium 81; edited proceedings of third international cadmium conference, Miami, pp 88–93. Ed. by D. Wilson and R. A. Volpe. London: Cadmium Association 1982Google Scholar
  30. Ward, T. J., R. L. Correll and R. A. Anderson: Distribution of cadmium, lead and zinc amongst the marine sediments, seagrasses and fauna, and the selection of sentinel accumulators, near a lead smelter in South Australia. Aust. J. mar. Freshwat. Res. 37, 567–585 (1986)Google Scholar
  31. Ward, T. J., L. J. Warren and K. G. Tiller: The distribution and effects of metals in the marine environment near a lead-zinc smelter, South Australia. In: Environmental impact of smelters, pp 1–73. Ed. by J. O. Nriagu. New York: Wiley & Sons 1984Google Scholar
  32. Ward, T. J. and P. C. Young: Trace metal contamination of shallow marine sediments near a lead smelter, Spencer Gulf, South Australia. Aust. J. mar. Freshwat. Res. 32, 45–56 (1981)Google Scholar
  33. Ward, T. J. and P. C. Young: Effects of sediment trace metals and particle size on the community structure of epibenthic seagrass fauna near a lead smelter, South Australia. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 9, 137–146 (1982)Google Scholar
  34. West, R. J. and A. W. D. Larkum: Leaf productivity of the seagrass Posidonia australis in eastern Australian waters. Aquat. Bot. 7, 57–65 (1979)Google Scholar
  35. Wolfe, D. A., G. W. Thayer and S. M. Adams: Manganese, iron, copper and zinc in an eelgrass (Zostera marina) community. In: Radioecology and energy resources; proceedings of the fourth national symposium on radioecology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, 1975 pp 256–270. Ed. by C. E. Cushing. Stroudsburg, Pa. USA: Dowden Hutchinson & Ross 1976Google Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations