Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 6, pp 5934–5949 | Cite as

Metal pollution across the upper delta plain wetlands and its adjacent shallow sea wetland, northeast of China: implications for the filtration functions of wetlands

  • Jin Liu
  • Siyuan YeEmail author
  • Hongming Yuan
  • Xigui Ding
  • Guangming Zhao
  • Shixiong Yang
  • Lei He
  • Jin Wang
  • Shaofeng Pei
  • Xiaoyu Huang
Research Article


Grain size and concentrations of organic carbon (Corg) and particulate metals (PMs) As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Pb, Zn, Al, Fe, and Mn of 373 surface sediment samples, salinities in 67 surface water samples, were analyzed in various environments, including the upper delta plain wetlands (UDPW), its adjacent shallow sea wetland (SSW) in the Liaodong Bay, and river channels that are running through the Liaohe Delta, to evaluate the spatial distribution, transportation environmental dynamics of metals, and the provenance of metal pollution and assess the filtration functions of wetlands. The concentrations of PMs for UDPW were generally higher by a factor of ~ 10–22% compared with its analogues in SSW, suggesting the accumulation of PMs within the UDPW indicates that the UDPW systems are efficiently physical and chemical traps for PMs of anthropogenic sources by retaining and storing pollutants flowing into the sea. However, there was sever sewage irrigation-induced Cd pollution with a geo-accumulation index of 0.62–3.11 in an area of ~ 86 km2 of the adjacent shallow sea wetland, where large amount wetlands were historically moved for agriculture in the UDPW. Remarkably, the distributions of PMs were controlled by salinity-induced desorption and re-adsorption mechanisms and significantly dispersed the contamination coverage by the three-dimensional hydrodynamic and sedimentation processes that dominated by inputs of freshwater and ocean dynamics including NE-SW tidal currents and NE-E longshore drifts in the SSW of the Liaodong Bay. A high agreement between the UDPW and the SSW datasets in principal component analysis essentially reflects that the characteristics of PM sources in the SSW were actually inherited from that in the UDPW, with a much closer relationship among metals, organic matter, and fine particulates in SSW than that of UDPW, which was judged by their correlation coefficient range of 0.406–0.919 in SSW against those of 0.042–0.654 in UDPW.


Particulate metals Salinity Grain size Organic carbon Wetland filtration functions 


Funding information

This study was jointly funded by the Key Program for International S&T Cooperation Projects of China (2016yee0109600), Ministry and Land and Resources program: “Special foundation for scientific research on public causes” (Grant No. 201111023), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41240022, 40872167, 41406082), and Governmental Public Research Funds of China (Grant Nos. DD20160144, 201111023, and GZH201200503).

Supplementary material

11356_2017_912_MOESM1_ESM.docx (60 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 59 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jin Liu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Siyuan Ye
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Hongming Yuan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xigui Ding
    • 1
    • 2
  • Guangming Zhao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shixiong Yang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lei He
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jin Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shaofeng Pei
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xiaoyu Huang
    • 5
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Coastal Wetlands Biogeosciences, China Geologic SurveyQingdao Institute of Marine GeologyQingdaoPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Laboratory for Marine GeologyQingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and TechnologyQingdaoPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Chinese Academy of Geological SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.China University of Geosciences (Wuhan)WuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  5. 5.Ocean University of ChinaQingdaoPeople’s Republic of China

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