Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 2540–2549 | Cite as

Distribution of PCDD/Fs and dioxin-like PCBs in sediment and plants from a contaminated salt marsh (Tejo estuary, Portugal)

  • Margarida NunesEmail author
  • Anaïs Vernisseau
  • Philippe Marchand
  • Bruno Le Bizec
  • Fernando Ramos
  • Miguel A. Pardal
Research Article


Concentrations and profiles of 2,3,7,8-substituted polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (dl-PCBs) were investigated in sediment and plants collected from a salt marsh in the Tejo estuary, Portugal. The highest PCDD/F and dl-PCB concentrations were detected in uncolonized sediments, averaging 325.25 ± 57.55 pg g−1 dry weight (dw) and 8,146.33 ± 2,142.14 pg g−1 dw, respectively. The plants Sarcocornia perennis and Halimione portulacoides growing in PCDD/F and dl-PCB contaminated sediments accumulated contaminants in roots, stems, and leaves. It was observed that PCDD/F and dl-PCB concentrations in roots were significantly lower in comparison with stems and leaves. In general, concentration of ΣPCDD/Fs and Σdl-PCBs in H. portulacoides tissues were found to be twofold higher than those in S. perennis, indicating a difference in the accumulation capability of both species. Furthermore, congener profiles changed between sediments and plant tissues, reflecting a selective accumulation of low chlorinated PCDD/Fs and non-ortho dl-PCBs in plants.


Persistent organic pollutants PCDD/Fs PCBs Sediment Halophytes Sarcocornia perennis Halimione portulacoides Estuary 



The authors would like to express their gratitude to Xavier Marques for the valuable help in the field campaign. The manuscript was greatly improved by the comments of three anonymous reviewers and the handling editor. This work was financially supported by the FCT—Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, through a PhD grant attributed to MN Cardoso (SFRH/BD/46969/2008) co-funded by the POPH/FSE.

Supplementary material

11356_2013_2178_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (122 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 121 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margarida Nunes
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Anaïs Vernisseau
    • 3
  • Philippe Marchand
    • 3
  • Bruno Le Bizec
    • 3
  • Fernando Ramos
    • 2
  • Miguel A. Pardal
    • 1
  1. 1.CFE—Centre for Functional Ecology, Department of Life SciencesUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal
  2. 2.CEF—Center for Pharmaceutical Studies, Health Sciences Campus, Bromatology Laboratory, Pharmacy FacultyUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal
  3. 3.Oniris, Laboratoire d’Étude des Résidus et Contaminants dans les Aliments (LABERCA)LUNAM UniversitéNantesFrance

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