Variations of trace metals in two estuarine environments with contrasting pollution histories

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

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)604-614
Journal / PublicationScience of the Total Environment
Online published17 Apr 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes


In the present study, seasonal variations of metal concentrations were examined in two oyster species, Crassostrea hongkongensis and Crassostrea sikamea, and in seawater from a heavily contaminated estuary and a reference estuary. Strong temporal fluctuations of metal concentration were observed in oyster tissues as well as in seawater from both estuaries, especially for the contaminated estuary and for C. hongkongensis with higher accumulation ability. A closer inter-element correlation was observed for Cu, Zn, Cr and Ni in both the dissolved and particulate phases from the contaminated site, indicating that these metals originated from the same industrial sources. Seasonal variations of metals in oysters were not significantly related to their concentrations in seawater, but were related to the variations of condition index. Our results showed that the seasonal patterns of metal concentrations in oysters were largely controlled by the biological process, while the variation as well as the concentration were dependent on the contamination levels and bioaccumulation ability. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Research Area(s)

  • Biomonitor, Estuary, Metals, Oysters, Partitioning