Application of sediment quality guidelines in the assessment of mangrove surface sediment in mengkabong lagoon, sabah, Malaysia
Mangrove sediments were extensively studied all around the world and act as sinks and sources of contaminants in aquatic systems because of their variable physical and chemical properties (Rainey et al., 2003; Marchand et al., 2006; Pekey, 2006; Karbassi et al., 2007). Trace metals can accumulate in the upper sediment. Such accumulation takes place by biological and geochemical mechanisms and can represent significant environmental concern such as toxic to sediment-dwelling organisms and fish resulting in decreased survival, reduced growth, or impaired reproduction, and lower species diversity (Karbassi and Amirnezhad, 2004; Okafor and Opuene, 2007; Parizanganeh et al., 2007). Generally, the primary purposes of sediment quality guidelines (SQGs) are to protect the aquatic biota from the harmful and toxic effects related with sediment-bound contaminants and useful tool for evaluating the potential for contaminants within sediment to induce biological effects (Spencer and Macleod, 2002). These guidelines evaluate the degree to which the sediment-associated chemical status might adversely affect aquatic organisms and are designed to assist sediment assessors and managers responsible for the interpretation of sediment quality (Caeiro et al., 2005). It is also to rank and prioritize the contaminated areas or the chemicals for the further investigation (Farkas et al., 2007).