Relating metals with major cations in oyster Crassostrea hongkongensis : A novel approach to calibrate metals against salinity

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)299-307
Journal / PublicationScience of the Total Environment
Online published6 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


Despite salinity has been well documented for its significant effects on the bioaccumulation of many trace elements in biomonitors, no calibration method has been proposed to reduce such influences. For the first time, the present study established a novel method to calibrate biomonitoring data against salinity. Relationships between trace element concentration in oyster Crassostrea hongkongensis and the biological proxy for salinity were quantified based on laboratory exposure experiments. The method was then verified by the biomonitoring data of Pearl River Estuary (PRE). Tissue concentrations of trace elements (Cu, Zn, Ag, Cd, Pb, Cr, As, Se, and Ni) and major cations (Na, Mg, K, and Ca) in oysters exposed at 4 salinities (5, 12, 20, and 28 psu) and low concentrations for 6 weeks were measured to establish such quantitative relationships. Tissue Na, Mg, and K could be the proxy for salinity, while Na was the best one. Negative correlations between tissue concentrations of trace elements and Na after exposure were observed for metal cations such as Cu, Zn, Ag, Cd, and Pb, while tissue As, Se, and Ni were positively correlated with Na. In PRE, salinity significantly influenced the bioaccumulation of trace elements even under the multifactor-affected field conditions. The calibration method applied to the biomonitoring of PRE was verified to be feasible, and effectively reduced the influences of salinity. Therefore, calibration against salinity could facilitate the interpretation, comparability, and analysis of biomonitoring data. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.

Research Area(s)

  • Biomonitoring, Calibration, Major cations, Oysters, Salinity, Trace elements