Trace metal bioavailabilities in the Thames estuary: continuing decline in the 21st century

David Morritt, Philip Rainbow, Paul Clark, Brian Smith

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Levels of pollution, including contamination by toxic metals, in the Thames estuaryreduced over the last four decades of the 20th century. This 2014 study investigateswhether the declines in the bioavailabilities of trace metals (Ag, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe,Mn, Ni, Pb, V, Zn) have continued in the 21st century, using a suite of littoralbiomonitors also employed in 2001- the brown seaweed Fucus vesiculosus, thestrandline, talitrid amphipod Orchestia gammarellus and the estuarine barnacleAmphibalanus improvisus. Bioaccumulated concentrations represent relativemeasures of the total bioavailabilities of each metal to the biomonitor over a previoustime period, and can be compared over space and over time. Trace metalbioavailabilities varied along the estuary, and, in general, fell between 2001 and2014, a reflection of the continuing remediation of the Thames estuary from itsseverely polluted state in the middle of the 20th century.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-216
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
Issue number1
Early online date14 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016

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