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Background Concentrations of Heavy Metals in Benthos from Transboundary Rivers of the Transbaikalia Region, Russia


The concentrations (mg/kg dry weight) of Cu, Zn, As, Cd, Hg, and Pb were measured in benthic macroalgae and invertebrates collected in the upper transboundary tributaries of the Onon River, Transbaikalia, Russia. The background concentration ranges in Cladophora fracta, Ulothrix zonata and Zygnemataceae were: 6.4–9.1 for Cu, 27.2–73.1 for Zn, 0.4–0.9 for Cd, 6.7–35.3 for As, 0.01–0.02 for Hg, and 1.9–4.3 for Pb. In Brachycentrus americanus and Lymnaea media the concentration ranges were: 9.0–25.5 for Cu, 21.4–96.0 for Zn, 0.1–0.3 for Cd, 1.7–5.6 for As, 0.004–0.02 for Hg, and 0.4–2.2 for Pb. The concentrations of Cu, Zn, Pb, and Hg were consistent with data for uncontaminated areas. Under contamination conditions the concentrations in C. fracta were: 938 for Zn, 513 for Pb, and 9.5 for Cd; in Lymnaea media were: 46.8 for Cu, 176 for Zn, 52.3 for Pb, and 3.0 for Cd. All the organisms showed a common response to contamination, and consequently can be used as biomonitors of contamination by heavy metals.

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This research was a part of a project funded by the RFFR-Zabaikalsky krai No. 11-05-98034-r_siberia_a.

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Correspondence to Petr Viktorovich Matafonov.

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Kuklin, A.P., Matafonov, P.V. Background Concentrations of Heavy Metals in Benthos from Transboundary Rivers of the Transbaikalia Region, Russia. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 92, 137–142 (2014).

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  • Metals
  • Contamination
  • Biomonitors
  • Macroalgae
  • Snail
  • Caddisflies