Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 24, Issue 7, pp 6512–6522 | Cite as

Assessment of metal contamination in the Hun River, China, and evaluation of the fish Zacco platypus and the snail Radix swinhoei as potential biomonitors

  • Xing Wu
  • Shaofeng Wang
  • Hongxing Chen
  • Zhiqiang Jiang
  • Hongwei Chen
  • Mi Gao
  • Ran Bi
  • Paul L. Klerks
  • He Wang
  • Yongju LuoEmail author
  • Lingtian XieEmail author
Research Article


The Hun River is a major tributary of the Liao River in the northeast area of China and provides drinking water for 23 million local residents. This study was designed to assess the severity of metal contamination in the Hun River and the potential use of indigenous organisms (the fish Zacco platypus and the snail Radix swinhoei) as biomonitors of metal contamination. Water, sediment, and the native fish and snails were collected at four sampling sites that differed in their physicochemical characteristics and their contamination levels. The samples were analyzed for Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn by ICP-MS. The results showed that although the overall potential ecological risks of the metals were low at our sampling sites, Cd posed a noteworthy ecological risk. Strong correlations were obtained between Cd concentrations in the organisms and in the environment. The results indicated that Z. platypus and R. swinhoei can be useful biomonitoring species for assessing Cd contamination. Biomonitoring with the snail may be most effective when focused on the gonad/digestive tissue (because of the high metal accumulation there), but further work is needed to confirm this.


Metal contamination Bioaccumulation Bioavailability Tissue distribution Zacco platypus Radix swinhoei 



This research was supported by the National Nature Science Foundation of China (NSFC, 41303087; NSFC, 31270549) and the One-hundred Talent Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Y2SBR111SS).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Human and animal rights

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.

Supplementary material

11356_2016_8348_MOESM1_ESM.docx (211 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 211 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xing Wu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shaofeng Wang
    • 1
  • Hongxing Chen
    • 1
  • Zhiqiang Jiang
    • 3
  • Hongwei Chen
    • 4
  • Mi Gao
    • 1
  • Ran Bi
    • 1
  • Paul L. Klerks
    • 5
  • He Wang
    • 6
  • Yongju Luo
    • 7
    Email author
  • Lingtian Xie
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Pollution Ecology and Environmental Engineering, Institute of Applied EcologyChinese Academy of SciencesShenyangChina
  2. 2.Institute of Environmental ProtectionShenyang University of Chemical TechnologyShenyangChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Mariculture and Stock Enhancement in North China’s Sea, Ministry of AgricultureDalian Ocean UniversityDalianChina
  4. 4.Liaoning Key Laboratory of Urban Integrated Pest Management and Ecological SecurityShenyang UniversityShenyangChina
  5. 5.Department of BiologyUniversity of Louisiana at LafayetteLafayetteUSA
  6. 6.Liaoning Academy of Environmental SciencesShenyangChina
  7. 7.Guangxi Academy of Fishery ScienceGuangxiChina

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