Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 2143–2154 | Cite as

Environmental monitoring of heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Sargassum filipendula and Sargassum vulgare along the eastern coastal waters of Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies

  • Mohindra A. Seepersaud
  • Antonio Ramkissoon
  • Savita Seecharan
  • Yomica L. Powder-George
  • Faisal K. Mohammed


The presence of two endemic Sargassum spp., Sargassum filipendula and Sargassum vulgare, along the eastern coasts of Trinidad and Tobago were investigated to assess the pollution status of those localities. Heavy metal and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAHs) concentrations in these marine organisms were determined. Average concentrations of Cd, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Zn were 4.59, 5.05, 744.98, 69.10, 8.33, 8.59, and 24.30 μg g−1 (dry wt.) in S. filipendula and 1.81, 8.82, 114.11, 24.18, 9.84, 7.05, and 119.46 μg g−1 (dry wt.) in S. vulgare, respectively. Metal pollution indices were established for each location. Total PAH concentrations (Σ16 PAHs) ranged from 287.4 ng g−1 in S. filipendula (Mayaro) to 605.1 ng g−1 in S. vulgare (Speyside). The use of PAH diagnostic ratios, principal component analysis, and cluster analysis were used for source identification of PAHs in each of the Sargassum spp. from the various regions. It was concluded that these Sargassum spp. can be utilized as biomarkers for heavy metals and PAHs in the surrounding waters of Trinidad and Tobago.


Sargassum Phaeophyceae Heavy metals Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons 



The authors would like to thank Dr. Lebert Grierson from the Department of Chemistry and Dr. Adesh Ramsubhag from the Department of Life Sciences, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, for their support and resources throughout this project.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohindra A. Seepersaud
    • 1
  • Antonio Ramkissoon
    • 1
  • Savita Seecharan
    • 1
  • Yomica L. Powder-George
    • 1
  • Faisal K. Mohammed
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science and TechnologyThe University of the West Indies, St. Augustine CampusSt. Augustine, TrinidadTrinidad and Tobago

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