, Volume 203, Issue 1–2, pp 73–81 | Cite as

Ulva lactuca as bioindicator of metal contamination in intertidal waters in Hong Kong



The use of Ulva lactuca L. as an indicator of metal contamination was assessed by analysing the levels of Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb in the alga collected from 24 intertidal sites around the Island of Hong Kong. Twelve of the sites are in the rural southern parts of the Island where the coastal waters are relatively clean. The remaining 12 sites are located in the north and within Victoria Harbour which receives, apart from industrial effluents, untreated domestic sewage from a population of some 3.5 million. The mean levels of Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn and Pb in Ulva from the urban sites were respectively 4.0, 4.6, 1.8, 2.3, 2.4 and 4.6 folds those from the rural sites. However, similar levels of Cd were found in the alga amongst all the sites. Locations of high levels of metal contamination, particularly to the eastern end of the Harbour, have been identified. Preliminary results indicate that Ulva is a good indicator of Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn and Pb contaminations.

Key words

bioindicator metal alga Ulva lactuca 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y.B. Ho
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BotanyUniversity of Hong KongHong Kong

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