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Title

Arsenic rich iron plaque on macrophyte roots – an ecotoxicological risk?

AuthorsTaggart, Mark A. ; Mateo, Rafael ; Charnock, J.M.; Bahrami, F.; Green, Andy J. ; Meharg, A.A.
KeywordsHerbivorous wildlife
Metalloids
Food chain transfer
Wetlands
Phytoremediation
Issue DateMar-2009
PublisherElsevier
CitationEnvironmental Pollution 157 (2009) 946–954
AbstractArsenic is known to accumulate with iron plaque on macrophyte roots. Three to four years after the Aznalco´ llar mine spill (Spain), residual arsenic contamination left in seasonal wetland habitats has been identified in this form by scanning electron microscopy. Total digestion has determined arsenic concentrations in thoroughly washed ‘root þ plaque’ material in excess of 1000 mg kg—1, and further analysis using X-ray absorption spectroscopy suggests arsenic exists as both arsenate and arsenite. Certain herbivorous species feed on rhizomes and bulbs of macrophytes in a wide range of global environments, and the ecotoxicological impact of consuming arsenic rich iron plaque associated with such food items remains to be quantified. Here, greylag geese which feed on Scirpus maritimus rhizome and bulb material in areas affected by the Aznalco´ llar spill are shown to have elevated levels of arsenic in their feces, which may originate from arsenic rich iron plaque.
Publisher version (URL)http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0269749108005526
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/38750
DOI10.1016/j.envpol.2008.10.020
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