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An Assessment of Heavy Metal Contamination on the Surface Sediment of Seagrass Beds at the Khanh Hoa Coast, Vietnam


Seagrasses beds are vulnerable ecosystems. Human-induced disturbances, including heavy metal pollution, cause losses in seagrass beds. Assessment of the heavy metal concentration in seagrass meadows is an urgent need in order to protect and sustain these ecosystems. The concentration of eight trace metals in the surface sediment was observed from six seagrass beds at Khanh Hoa’s coast, Vietnam. Three pollution indices and statistical analysis were used to evaluate the levels of contamination with these elements. This report on heavy metals within seagrass beds in Vietnam shows that, based on enrichment factors, only one location revealed moderately severe enrichment of Cu. Geo-accumulation indices fall in the uncontaminated class at all locations whereas for the ecological risk factor, values of Cu at My Giang and of Pb at Thuy Trieu were in a moderate risk class. Hence, two of eight locations may be exposed to high Cu and Pb.

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Fig. 1

(Source The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), USA, public domain data). The map was processed by MapInfor Pro, version 12.5.5 (Pitney Bowes Software Inc., NY, USA)

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We would like to thank the head of the Institute of Oceanography (IO) for providing the necessary facilities to carry out this work. We also thank Mr. Tran Van Binh, Department of Marine Geography, IO, for preparing the map. This work was supported by the National Foundation for Science & Technology Development, Viet Nam, grant coded 106-NN.02-2014.04 and under the umbrella of JSPS Core-to-Core Program, B. Asia-Africa Science Platforms.

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Correspondence to Xuan-Vy Nguyen.

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Nguyen, XV., Tran, MH., Le, TD. et al. An Assessment of Heavy Metal Contamination on the Surface Sediment of Seagrass Beds at the Khanh Hoa Coast, Vietnam. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 99, 728–734 (2017).

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  • Assessment
  • Trace metals
  • Khanh Hoa
  • Seagrass beds
  • Sediment