John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Using biofilms for monitoring metal contamination in lotic ecosystems: The protective effects of hardness and pH on metal bioaccumulation

0
Biofilms can make good bioindicators and biomarkers, offering a convenient tool to monitor metal contamination in streams that results from mine tailing sites. Biofilm metal content (Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb) as well as diatom diversity and the presence of teratologies (diatom abnormalities) were determined for biofilms from rivers with a variety of physico‐chemical properties across a metal contamination gradient. The results of metal accumulation were highly consistent from year to year, with significant relationships between calculated free metal ion concentrations and biofilm metal contents for samples from different rivers. This indicates the « universal nature » of the metal accumulation process in biofilms. We observed that protons and major cations protected against metal accumulation. A very low number of diatom taxa were found at the most contaminated sites and the highest proportions of deformities were observed at these sites. However, it was difficult to distinguish the effect of metal contamination from the effect of other parameters, especially pH. These results suggest that the development of biofilm‐based proxies for metal bioavailability is useful and that the incorporation of the effects of hardness and pH in this metal contamination monitoring tool is important. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

Customer comments

No comments were found for Using biofilms for monitoring metal contamination in lotic ecosystems: The protective effects of hardness and pH on metal bioaccumulation. Be the first to comment!