Environmental Risk of Metal Contamination in Sediments of Tropical Reservoirs

  • Gabrielle R. QuadraEmail author
  • Adan Lino
  • Anna Sobek
  • Olaf Malm
  • Nathan Barros
  • Yago Guida
  • José Thomaz
  • Raquel Mendonça
  • Simone Cardoso
  • Carlos Estrada
  • Felipe Rust
  • Fábio Roland


Reservoir sediment can work as both sink and source for contaminants. Once released into the water column, contaminants can be toxic to biota and humans. We investigate potential ecological risk to benthic organisms by metals contamination in six reservoirs in Southeast Brazil. Results of the bioavailable fraction of copper (Cu), chromium (Cr), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), zinc (Zn), and iron (Fe) in sediment samples are presented. Considering Cu, Cd, and Zn concentrations, about 6% of the samples exceeded the threshold effect levels of sediment quality guidelines. The comparison to sediment quality guidelines is conservative because we used a moderate metal extraction. Control of contaminant sources in these reservoirs is key because they are sources of water and food. The mixture toxicity assessment showed an increased incidence of toxicity to aquatic organisms showing that mixture toxicity should be taken into account in sediment assessment criteria.


Guidelines Mixture toxicity Potential ecological risk Reservoir sediments Trace elements 



We are grateful for the study area map and scientific contribution provided by José Reinaldo Paranaiba. This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior—Brasil (CAPES)—Finance Code 001. This work was also supported by Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) for Research Productivity Grant provided to FR (473141/2013–2).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

128_2019_2668_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (147 kb)
Electronic supplementary material 1 (PDF 147 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gabrielle R. Quadra
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Adan Lino
    • 3
  • Anna Sobek
    • 2
  • Olaf Malm
    • 3
  • Nathan Barros
    • 1
  • Yago Guida
    • 3
  • José Thomaz
    • 3
  • Raquel Mendonça
    • 1
  • Simone Cardoso
    • 1
  • Carlos Estrada
    • 1
  • Felipe Rust
    • 4
  • Fábio Roland
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratório de Ecologia Aquática, Programa de Pós-Graduação em EcologiaUniversidade Federal de Juiz de ForaJuiz de ForaBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Science and Analytical ChemistryStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden
  3. 3.Laboratório de Radioisótopos Eduardo Penna Franca, Instituto de Biofísica Carlos Chagas FilhoUniversidade Federal do Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil
  4. 4.University of Québec at MontréalMontrealCanada

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