Biomonitoring of hydrocarbons using seabirds’ eggs and bivalves in Nakhiloo Island, Persian Gulf, Iran

  • N. Bayat
  • K. SaebEmail author
  • A. R. Bakhtiyari
Original Paper


Mond protected area is a region in the northeast of the Persian Gulf with high species richness, which in recent years has undergone changes and oil pollution. Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) can damage aquatic organisms and food chains. This study was performed in May and June 2016. The purpose of the study is to specify the origin and concentration of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and n-alkanes contamination in two kinds of bivalves (Saccostrea cucullata and Mytilus edulis), two species of birds’ eggs (Dromas ardeola and Egretta gularis) and sediments and to find the best biomonitoring species from Nakhiloo Island for these contaminants. After two stages of column chromatography, the POPs compounds were identified by a gas chromatography–mass spectrometry method. PAHs and n-alkanes concentrations were determined for sediments (28.3–218.58 ng g−1 and 183.57–594.54 µg g−1, respectively), S. cucullata (25.89–57.04 ng g−1 and 24.50–32.26 µg g−1, respectively), M. edulis (15.20–59.54 ng g−1 and 34.59–53.50 µg g−1, respectively), D. ardeola (162.90–404 ng g−1 and 118.40–217.39 µg g−1, respectively) and E. gularis (97.50–375.12 ng g−1 and 63.39–195.16 µg g−1, respectively). The concentration of compounds in the birds’ eggs was higher than in the bivalves. Diagnostic ratio of POPs usually showed petrogenic origin, and low molecular weight compounds predominated. Saccostrea cucullata showed the highest correlation with the sediments, which shows that it is the best biomonitor agent for this region. The concentration of pollutants in this area was low, and all concentrations were below the threshold level. Their principal cause of origin points to petrochemical plants, various types of vessels and in particular fishing activities in Mond protected area, and it is shown that filter feeders can do better biomonitoring than predators because of their physiological status.


Dromas ardeola Egretta gularis Hydrocarbons Mytilus edulis Persian Gulf Saccostrea cucullata 



The authors are grateful to Bushehr Department of Environment and Faculty of Environment Science, Tarbiat Modares University of Tehran, for assisting in sampling and examinations.


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© Islamic Azad University (IAU) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Natural ResourcesIslamic Azad University (Tonekabon Branch)TonekabonIran
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Natural Resources and Marine SciencesTarbiat Modares UniversityNoorIran

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