Behavior of Zn, Cu, Pb and Cd in biota of Yangtze Estuary
Since the heavy metals stored in plants during growth seasons will be released into the environment in winter, plants are temporary stocks for metals. For the aboveground parts of reeds, about 156.6 kg·ha-1·a-1 of zinc, 369.9 kg·ha-1·a-10 of copper, 32.9 kg·ha-·a-1 of lead and 6.5 kg·ha-1·a-1 of cadmium were released.
The mollusca, especially C.fluminea, are the key species storing and transporting heavy metals on the food chain.
The temporal change in the highest trophic level was studied and found that it was significantly related with metabolic rates. The contents of heavy metals in Dunlin reach the peaks in January and October, which are wintering season and migratory season, respectively, of the bird.
Organisms often show regulation/accumulation mechanisms to different elements of heavy metals. The elements that are widely required, such as zinc and copper, are accumulated at the metabolically active parts. It is quite another thing for the other two elements. Lead was regulated well and scarcely accumulated in the bodies of macrobenthos, but cadmium was absolutely accumulated in the animals.
Heavy metals were found accumulated in some parts of the bodies of these organisms, such as shells and skeletons of macrobenthos and lives and muscles of waders.
All these four elements were accumulated higher in the bodies of waders than in the plants and macrobenthos, which showed a bio-magnification function of the food chain. Overall, besides the physical and chemical processes, biological processes of heavy metal elements in Yangtze Estuarine ecosystem play a very important role in self-purification function of the ecosystem. Measurement of heavy metal contents in plants and animals in the estuarine ecosystem is an efficient technology for monitoring the environmental quality of the estuary.
Keywords:trace elements living system tidal flat Yangtze Estuary.
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