The toxicity of marine sediments in Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong

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

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Author(s)

  • Y. S. Wong
  • N. F Y Tam
  • P. S. Lau
  • X. Z. Xue

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)464-470
Journal / PublicationMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume31
Issue number4-12
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1995

Abstract

When the toxicity of marine sediment in Hong Kong was evaluated, it was found that the seven sediments collected within Victoria Harbour were severely contaminated with heavy metals, at concentrations many times higher than those in sediments collected from outside the harbour. The highest metal content was recorded in site VS14 (located near the airport runway and the industrialized area), with copper, zinc, lead and chromium values of 3789, 610, 138 and 601 mg kg-1 dry wt, respectively. This site also had the greatest alkaline phosphatase activities (15 fluorescent intensity unit g-1 wet wt), the largest number of total coliforms (910 CFU g-1 wet wt) and sulphate-reducing bacteria (8.5 × 104 cells g-1 wet wt), implying that site VS14 was also contaminated with organic matter and nutrients. Sediment bioassays, Microtox and algal tests, demonstrated that sediment elutriates obtained from site VS14 were of greatest toxicity. The EC10 value in Microtox tests was 17% elutriate, and the 96-h IC50 values using Skeletonema costatum and Dunaliella tertiolecta were 40 and 79% elutriate, respectively. No toxic effects were found in sediment samples collected from the control site outside Victoria Harbour. Significant correlations were found between the results of the algal toxicity test (using S. costatum) and the coliform count and metal content of the sediments. The Microtox test was less sensitive than the algal bioassay, and no sediment elutriate, even from the site mostly contaminated by heavy metals, caused more than 50% inhibition of the light-emitting activity of the bacteria. In this study, S. costatum (the diatom) provided a more sensitive and reliable test species than D. tertiolecta (the flagellate) in differentiating the toxicity of marine sediments. © 1995.

Citation Format(s)

The toxicity of marine sediments in Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong. / Wong, Y. S.; Tam, N. F Y; Lau, P. S.; Xue, X. Z.

In: Marine Pollution Bulletin, Vol. 31, No. 4-12, 04.1995, p. 464-470.

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