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Effects of Metal Pollution on Sediments in a Highly Saline Aquatic Ecosystem: Case of the Moknine Continental Sebkha (Eastern Tunisia)


Potential contamination of the sediments in the Sebkha of Moknine (Tunisia) ecosystem was assessed by means of enrichment factors (EFs) estimated against reference sediment located ≈70 km away from the Sebkha. The use of EFs is recommended as a reliable method for heavy metal contamination assessment, provided that (1) element contents are corrected following a careful normalization procedure, and (2) the reference sediment is unaffected by anthropogenic alterations. The degree of contamination was assessed by the modified contamination degree approach. The obtained results indicated that surface sediments were enriched up to 22.9, 13.2, 5.46 and 3.19 times with Pb, Cu, Cr and Zn, respectively. Lower enrichment factors for Ni and Co suggested that anthropogenic sources were less important for these metals. The modified degree of contamination showed that the sediments in the Sebkha of Moknine have suffered significant systematic heavy metal contamination following catchment urbanization and industrialization .

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This research was partially supported by the JST/JICA, SATREPS project.

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Correspondence to Mohamed Ksibi.

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Wali, A., Kawachi, A., Bougi, M.S.M. et al. Effects of Metal Pollution on Sediments in a Highly Saline Aquatic Ecosystem: Case of the Moknine Continental Sebkha (Eastern Tunisia). Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 94, 511–518 (2015).

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  • Sebkha of Moknine
  • Sediment degradation
  • Heavy metals
  • Anthropogenic origin