Bioturbation effects on metal release from contaminated sediments are metal-dependent

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

16 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-96
Journal / PublicationEnvironmental Pollution
Online published5 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes


Metal flux measurements inform the mobility, potential bioavailability and risk of toxicity for metals in contaminated sediments and therefore is an important approach for sediment quality assessment. The binding and release of metals that contribute to the net flux is strongly influenced by the presence and behaviors of benthic organisms. Here we studied the effects of bioturbation on the mobility and efflux of metals from multi-metal contaminated sediments that inhabited by oligochaete worms or both worms and bivalves. Presence of bivalves enhanced the release of Mn, Co, Ni and Zn but not for copper and chromium, which is likely due to the high affinities of copper and chromium for the solid phase. Metals in the overlying water were primarily associated with fractions smaller than 10 kDa, and the fractionation of all metals were not affected by the presence of the bivalve. Metal fluxes attributed to different processes were also distinguished, and the bioturbation induced effluxes were substantially higher than the diffusive effluxes. Temporal variabilities in the total net effluxes of Mn, Co, Ni and Zn were also observed and were attributed to the biological activities of the bivalves. Overall, the present study demonstrated that the response of different metals to the same bioturbation behavior was different, resulting in distinct mobility and fate of the metal contaminants.

Research Area(s)

  • Bioturbation, Corbicula fluminea, DGT, Limnodrilus hoffmeisteri, Metal contaminated sediments, Metal efflux