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Fucus spiralis as monitoring tool of metal contamination in the northwest coast of Portugal under the European Water Framework Directives

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Abstract

Metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn and Zn) in coastal seawaters and soft tissues of macroalga Fucus spiralis from the northwest coast of Portugal were determined to assess spatial variations of metal bioavailabilities and bioaccumulation factors to compare different ecological quality classifications. Both coastal seawaters and soft tissues of F. spiralis showed significant spatial variations in their metal concentrations along the coast. The macroalgae F. spiralis accumulated more efficiently Cd, Mn and Zn and showed low bioaccumulation factors to Cr, Cu and Fe. Regarding the metal guidelines of the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority, the entire northwest (NW) coast of Portugal in April 2013 should be classified as ‘class I—unpolluted’ for all metals, except in Ave for Cu (‘class II—moderately polluted’) and Cavado for Cd and Cu (‘class II—moderately polluted’), revealing the low metal bioavailabilities of these seawaters. As there were always significant positive correlations between all metals in seawaters and F. spiralis, this macroalga species was considered a suitable monitoring tool of metal contamination in the NW coast of Portugal and a useful aquatic organism to be included in the European Environmental Specimen Banks in order to establish a real-time environmental monitoring network under the European Water Framework Directives.

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Acknowledgments

The authors are indebted to Marinnova for their substantial financial and technical support on metal analyses (www.marinnova.pt). This study was partially supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the COMPETE—Operational Competitiveness Programme and national funds through FCT—Foundation for Science and Technology, under the project ‘PEst-C/MAR/LA0015/2011’. During this study, M. Rubal (SFRH/BDP/81567/2011) and P. Veiga (SFRH/BPD/81582/2011) were supported by postdoctoral grants awarded by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT, Portugal).

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Reis, P.A., Cassiano, J., Veiga, P. et al. Fucus spiralis as monitoring tool of metal contamination in the northwest coast of Portugal under the European Water Framework Directives. Environ Monit Assess 186, 5447–5460 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-014-3794-6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-014-3794-6

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