Shells of Bufonaria echinata as biomonitoring materials of heavy metals (Cd, Ni and Pb) pollution in the Persian Gulf: with emphasis on the annual growth sections

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 u

2 IFRO

3 Caspian Sea Ecology Research Center, Iranian Fisheries Science Research Institute, Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization, Sari, Iran.

Abstract

Concentrations of heavy metals (Cd, Ni and Pb) were determined in soft and hard tissues (three separated shell sections) of gastropod Bufonaria echinata as well as surficial sediments collected in October 2015 from two sampling sites located in the sub-littoral zone of Qeshm Island, Persian Gulf. There were significant differences between the sampling sites for concentrations of all the three elements in the shells and sediments. But in terms of the soft tissues, in the case of Ni and Pb significant differences between the sites could be observed. In all the cases, higher levels were observed in the samples from Suza site, which may be mainly due to the proximity of this site to the relevant anthropogenic sources. Comparison of the gained data from this study with the other relevant researches shows that in most cases the levels of the elements in the soft tissues and shells either fell within the range for other world areas or were lower. The observed increasing trends of metals accumulation in the shell sections (from older to younger sections) could be mainly attributed to the gradual increase of relevant anthropogenic pollutants in the study area, especially in Suza pier, during the recent years. Generally, it can be concluded that the shells of B.echinata could be possibly employed as a biomonitoring tool for historic metals contamination in northeastern part of the Persian Gulf.

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