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Distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and tributyltin (TBT) in Barcelona harbour sediments and their impact on benthic communities

AutorMartínez-LLadó, Xavier; Gibert, Roger Oriol; Martí, Vicens; Díez Salvador, Sergi; Romo, Javier; Bayona Termens, Josep María; Pablo, Joan de
Palabras claveTributyltin
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
Marine Biotic Index
Ecological risk assessment in benthos
Harbour sediment
Barcelona harbour
Fecha de publicación5-jul-2007
CitaciónEnvironmental Pollution 149(1): 104-113 (2007)
ResumenSediments have long been recognised as a sink for many contaminants like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and tributyltin (TBT), which by virtue of their nature can strongly adsorb onto sediments affecting the benthic community inhabiting them. Using geographical information systems, this study reports and combines the results of several already existing studies along Barcelona harbour in order to assess the potential ecological impacts of these contaminants on the benthos of the harbour ecosystem. Chemical analysis indicated low to moderate contents of PAHs and high contents of TBT in sediments in Barcelona harbour. Comparison against existing sediment quality guidelines (SQGs) indicated that acutely toxic effects would not be expected for PAHs but for TBT, which represents a serious environmental threat for the benthic community. Benthos surveys revealed a deterioration of the benthic community throughout the harbour, especially in the inner port.
A possible correlation exists between TBT concentration in sediments and ecological effects on benthos in Barcelona harbour.
Descripción10 pages, 3 figures, 3 tables.-- PMID: 17614167 [PubMed].-- Printed version published Sep 2007.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2006.11.020
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