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Closed Access item Measuring in-stream retention of copper by means of constant-rate additions

Authors:Serra, A.
Guash, Helena
Martí, Eugènia
Geiszinger, A.
Keywords:Artificial stream, Biofilm, Copper, Nutrient spiraling, Phosphate retention
Issue Date:19-Mar-2009
Citation:Science of the Total Environment 407(12) : 3847-3854
Abstract:Human practices entail inputs of nutrients and toxicants such as heavy metals to the fluvial ecosystems. While nutrient dynamics in fluvial ecosystems have been widely studied for over three decades, dynamics of toxicants still remain unclear. In this investigation, the nutrient spiraling concept and associated methodologies to quantify nutrient retention in streams were applied to study copper (Cu) dynamics in streams. The present study aimed to quantify total dissolved Cu retention using a simplified system of indoor channels colonized with fluvial biofilms. Cu retention was studied at sub-toxic concentrations to avoid negative/lethal effects on biota. In addition, Cu retention was compared with retention estimates of a macronutrient, phosphate (PO4 3−), which has been widely studied within the context of the nutrient spiraling concept. The methodology used allowed a successful quantification of Cu and PO4 3− retention. The results showed higher retention efficiency for PO4 3− than for Cu. The biofilm played a key role in retaining both solutes. Although retention efficiency for both solutes was higher in the experiments with colonized substrata compared to uncolonized substrata, we found a positive relationship between uptake rate and chlorophyll-a only for PO43−. Finally, retention efficiency for both solutes was influenced by water discharge, showing lower retention efficiencies under higher flow conditions. These results suggest that the fate and toxic effects of copper on stream biota may be strongly influenced by the prevailing environmental conditions. Our results indicate that the experimental approach considered can provide new insights into the investigation of retention of toxic compounds in fluvial systems and their controlling mechanisms.
Description:8 Páginas ; 2 Tablas ; 2 Figuras
Publisher version (URL):http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2009.01.056
Appears in Collections:(CEAB) Artículos

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