Heavy metals in aquatic plants, clams, and sediments from the Chesapeake Bay, U.S.A. implications for waterfowl
Dry weight concentrations of cadmium, lead, copper and zinc were measured in clams, submerged aquatic macrophytes and sediments from several locations in the Chesapeake Bay region. Clam species included Macoma balthica, Mya arenaria, and Rangia cuneata; plant taxa included Najas spp., Potamogeton spp., Ruppia maritima, Vallisneria americana, and Zostera marina. Cadmium and lead concentrations were generally greater in whole plants than in soft tissues of clams, while the reverse was true for zinc; no marked trend was observed in copper concentrations. These results suggest that the changes occurring in the food habits of some Chesapeake Bay waterfowl towards increased clam utilization as a result of declining submerged plant abundances is not increasing ingestion of the nonessential metals cadmium and lead. Highest lead, copper and zinc concentrations were observed in sediments from the Patapsco River, which is probably due to the proximity of Baltimore Harbor. Highest cadmium concentrations were observed in sediments in the Port Tobacco River, a tributary of the Potomac River. These observations were generally consistent with high concentrations of the respective metal(s) in biota from these locations. Concentrations of the four metals in sediments were highly correlated to organic matter content. © 1985.
Di Giulio, RT; Scanlon, PF
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