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Trace element storage capacity of sediments in dead Posidonia oceanica mat from a chronically contaminated marine ecosystem

Trace element storage capacity of sediments in dead Posidonia oceanica mat from a chronically contaminated marine ecosystem
Trace element storage capacity of sediments in dead Posidonia oceanica mat from a chronically contaminated marine ecosystem
Posidonia oceanica mat is considered a long-term bioindicator of contamination. Storage and sequestration of trace elements and organic carbon (Corg) were assessed in dead P. oceanica mat and bare sediments from a highly polluted coastal marine area (Augusta Bay, central Mediterranean). Sediment elemental composition and sources of organic matter have been altered since the 1950s. Dead P. oceanica mat displayed a greater ability to bury and store trace elements and Corg than nearby bare sediments, acting as a long-term contaminant sink over the past 120?yr. Trace elements, probably associated with the mineral fraction, were stabilized and trapped despite die-off of the overlying P. oceanica meadow. Mat deposits registered historic contamination phases well, confirming their role as natural archives for recording trace element trends in marine coastal environments. This sediment typology is enriched with seagrass-derived refractory organic matter, which acts mainly as a diluent of trace elements. Bare sediments showed evidence of inwash of contaminated sediments via reworking; more rapid and irregular sediment accumulation; and, because of the high proportions of labile organic matter, a greater capacity to store trace elements. Through different processes, both sediment typologies represent a repository for chemicals and may pose a risk to the marine ecosystem as a secondary source of contaminants in the case of sediment dredging or erosion. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;9999:1–10. © 2016 SETAC
Seagrass mat, Marine sediment, Trace element, Biogeochemical sink, Mediterranean Sea
0730-7268
49-58
Di Leonardo, Rossella
95806f9e-2b7e-4ae7-904f-afe318d1bd4e
Mazzola, Antonio
02eaeb38-3456-45ac-9e13-8ead7b2900eb
Cundy, Andrew B.
994fdc96-2dce-40f4-b74b-dc638286eb08
Tramati, Cecilia Doriana
3e254e1e-7fb4-4c2d-b6a1-d1593e76ea6a
Vizzini, Salvatrice
3a3374f8-0dbf-4ddc-b23a-b5008939df53
Di Leonardo, Rossella
95806f9e-2b7e-4ae7-904f-afe318d1bd4e
Mazzola, Antonio
02eaeb38-3456-45ac-9e13-8ead7b2900eb
Cundy, Andrew B.
994fdc96-2dce-40f4-b74b-dc638286eb08
Tramati, Cecilia Doriana
3e254e1e-7fb4-4c2d-b6a1-d1593e76ea6a
Vizzini, Salvatrice
3a3374f8-0dbf-4ddc-b23a-b5008939df53

Di Leonardo, Rossella, Mazzola, Antonio, Cundy, Andrew B., Tramati, Cecilia Doriana and Vizzini, Salvatrice (2017) Trace element storage capacity of sediments in dead Posidonia oceanica mat from a chronically contaminated marine ecosystem. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 36 (1), 49-58. (doi:10.1002/etc.3539).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Posidonia oceanica mat is considered a long-term bioindicator of contamination. Storage and sequestration of trace elements and organic carbon (Corg) were assessed in dead P. oceanica mat and bare sediments from a highly polluted coastal marine area (Augusta Bay, central Mediterranean). Sediment elemental composition and sources of organic matter have been altered since the 1950s. Dead P. oceanica mat displayed a greater ability to bury and store trace elements and Corg than nearby bare sediments, acting as a long-term contaminant sink over the past 120?yr. Trace elements, probably associated with the mineral fraction, were stabilized and trapped despite die-off of the overlying P. oceanica meadow. Mat deposits registered historic contamination phases well, confirming their role as natural archives for recording trace element trends in marine coastal environments. This sediment typology is enriched with seagrass-derived refractory organic matter, which acts mainly as a diluent of trace elements. Bare sediments showed evidence of inwash of contaminated sediments via reworking; more rapid and irregular sediment accumulation; and, because of the high proportions of labile organic matter, a greater capacity to store trace elements. Through different processes, both sediment typologies represent a repository for chemicals and may pose a risk to the marine ecosystem as a secondary source of contaminants in the case of sediment dredging or erosion. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;9999:1–10. © 2016 SETAC

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 24 June 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 2 August 2016
Published date: 1 January 2017
Keywords: Seagrass mat, Marine sediment, Trace element, Biogeochemical sink, Mediterranean Sea
Organisations: Geochemistry

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 399213
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/399213
ISSN: 0730-7268
PURE UUID: a466fa59-4f3c-48ad-abdd-52b584e3b9ed
ORCID for Andrew B. Cundy: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4368-2569

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 08 Aug 2016 15:31
Last modified: 23 Jul 2022 02:10

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Contributors

Author: Rossella Di Leonardo
Author: Antonio Mazzola
Author: Andrew B. Cundy ORCID iD
Author: Cecilia Doriana Tramati
Author: Salvatrice Vizzini

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