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Influence of algal organic matter on metal accumulation in adjacent sediments of aquaculture from a tropical coast region

Abstract

The rapid development of coastal aquaculture in recent decades has led to excessive discharge of organic matter and nutrients into surrounding waters, which could result in eutrophication and potentially affect metal cycling. In our study, the influence of algal organic matter on metal accumulation was examined in three coastal sediment cores taken from a tropical region, Hainan Island, China. Overall, metal pollution adjacent to aquaculture ponds remained at low levels on the coast, except Zn, Cd, and Sn were moderately to highly enriched in the Dongjiao sediments. The δ13C values and the atomic C/N ratios indicated a major contribution of phytoplankton to sedimentary organic matter at the Dongjiao site. Moreover, both the algae-derived organic matter and effluent nitrogen were significantly associated with the enriched Zn, Cd, and Sn, suggesting that nutrient-induced phytoplankton growth and its organic matter may act as a “biological pump” to enhance the accumulation of metals. Wastewater treatment for aquaculture ponds should include the control of algal organic matter.

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All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in this published article and its supplementary information files.

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Funding

This work was supported by the Hainan Provincial Basic and Applied Basic Research Fund for High-Level Talents in Natural Science (421RC662), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41676095, 42166006, 41503009), the Key R&D Program of Guangxi Province (GUIKE AB18126075), the Science and Technology Innovation Commission of Shenzhen (JCYJ20180507182227257, KQTD20180412181334790), and the State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, GIGCAS (SKLOG-201712).

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Shiquan Chen: Investigation, writing original draft, data curation, funding acquisition. Ke Pan: Conceptualization, writing review and editing, funding acquisition, project administration. Wenqin Li: Investigation, methodology, resources, data curation. Dandan Duan: Conceptualization, supervision, writing original draft, writing review and editing, project administration, funding acquisition.

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Correspondence to Dandan Duan.

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Chen, S., Pan, K., Li, W. et al. Influence of algal organic matter on metal accumulation in adjacent sediments of aquaculture from a tropical coast region. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-022-20629-9

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-022-20629-9

Keywords

  • Coastal sediment
  • Metal
  • Algal organic matter
  • Nutrient
  • Aquaculture pond
  • Isotopic analysis