3 years ago

Can the leaf-bag technique detect benthic macrofauna responses to sediment contamination by metals and metalloids in estuaries?

The Estarreja Channel, Ria de Aveiro, Portugal, received industrial effluents for over 70years. Despite the discharges stopped a decade ago, a recent study showed negative ecological effects still associated with the metal and metalloid contaminated sediments. In contaminated versus reference channels, this study compared the benthic macrofauna collected with corer and mesh-bags for community structure and synthesis descriptors, namely taxa richness (S), Shannon-Wiener diversity (H′), taxonomic (AMBI and M-AMBI) and non-taxonomic (ISS) biotic indices and functional indicators (decomposition rates). The corer infauna dominated community and the associated S, H′, M-AMBI and ISS indices detected significant differences between contaminated and reference channels, otherwise undistinguished by the decomposition rates and the mesh-bags epifauna dominated community and associated indices. This suggests that sediment contamination in the deeper layers is not being transferred to the surface layers, explaining the non-affectation of the benthic macrofauna communities sampled in the leaf-bags.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0025326X17306082

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