Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 21, Issue 20, pp 11938–11950 | Cite as

Heavy metal and organic contaminants in mangrove ecosystems of China: a review

  • Zai-Wang Zhang
  • Xiang-Rong XuEmail author
  • Yu-Xin Sun
  • Shen Yu
  • Yong-Shan Chen
  • Jia-Xi Peng
Review Article


China’s rapid economic growth has been accompanied by increasing environmental pollution. Mangrove ecosystems are now facing greater pollution pressures due to elevated chemical discharges from various land-based sources. Data on the levels of heavy metals and organic pollutants in mangrove compartments (sediments, plants, zoobenthos, and fish) in China over the past 20 years have been summarized to evaluate the current pollution status of the mangrove ecosystem. Overall, the Pearl River and Jiulong River estuaries were severely polluted spots. Concentrations of Cu, Zn, Cd, and Pb in mangrove sediments of Guangdong, Fujian, and Hong Kong were higher than those from Guangxi and Hainan. The pollution status was closely linked to industrialization and urbanization. The highest concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were found in mangrove sediments from Hong Kong, followed by Fujian and Guangdong. Mangrove plants tend to have low-enriched ability for heavy metals and organic pollutants. Much higher levels of Pb, Cd, and Hg were observed in mollusks.


Mangrove Heavy metal Organic pollutants Sediment Fauna China 



This research was financially supported by the National Nature Science Foundation of China (51378488), Guangdong Natural Science Foundation (S2013040016910) Open Fund of Key Laboratory for Ecological Environment in Coastal Areas, State Oceanic Administration (201307) and Key Laboratory of Urban Environment and Health, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences (KLUEH201307), and Hundred Talents Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Supplementary material

11356_2014_3100_MOESM1_ESM.doc (90 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 90 kb)


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zai-Wang Zhang
    • 1
    • 3
  • Xiang-Rong Xu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yu-Xin Sun
    • 1
  • Shen Yu
    • 2
  • Yong-Shan Chen
    • 2
  • Jia-Xi Peng
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Tropical Marine Bio-resources and Ecology, South China Sea Institute of OceanologyChinese Academy of SciencesGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Urban Environment and Health, Institute of Urban EnvironmentChinese Academy of SciencesXiamenChina
  3. 3.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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