Accumulation of trace metals in freshwater macroinvertebrates across metal contamination gradients

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Arnold, A., Murphy, J .F., Pretty, J. L., Duerdoth, C. P., Smith, B. D., Rainbow, P. S., Spencer, K. L., Collins, A. L. and Iwan Jones, J. 2021. Accumulation of trace metals in freshwater macroinvertebrates across metal contamination gradients. Environmental Pollution. 276 (116721). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2021.116721

AuthorsArnold, A., Murphy, J .F., Pretty, J. L., Duerdoth, C. P., Smith, B. D., Rainbow, P. S., Spencer, K. L., Collins, A. L. and Iwan Jones, J.
Abstract

Historical mining activities cause widespread, long-term trace metal contamination of freshwater ecosystems.
However, measuring trace metal bioavailability has proven difficult, because it depends on many factors, not least concentrations in water, sediment and habitat. Simple tools are needed to assess bioavailabilities. The use of biomonitors has been widely advocated to provide a realistic measure. To date there have been few attempts to identify ubiquitous patterns of trace metal accumulation within and between freshwater biomonitors at geographical scales relevant to trace metal contamination. Here we address this through a nationwide collection of freshwater biomonitors (species of Gammarus, Leuctra, Baetis, Rhyacophila, Hydropsyche) from 99 English and Welsh stream sites spanning a gradient of high to low trace metal loading. The study tested for inter-biomonitor variation in trace metal body
burden, and for congruence amongst accumulations of trace metals within taxa and between taxa across the gradient. In general, significant differences in trace metal body burden occurred between taxa: Gammarus sp. was the most different compared with insect biomonitors. Bivariate relationships between trace metals within biomonitors reflected trace metal profiles in the environment. Strong correlations
between some trace metals suggested accumulation was also influenced by physiological pathways. Bivariate relationships between insect biomonitors for body burdens of As, Cu, Mn and Pb were highly consistent. Our data show that irrespective of taxonomic or ecological differences, there is a commonality
of response amongst insect taxa, indicating one or more could provide consistent measures of trace metal bioavailability.

KeywordsEcotoxicology ; Bioavailability; Biomonitor ; Heavy metals ; Abandoned mines
Year of Publication2021
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Journal citation276 (116721)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2021.116721
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2021.116721
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderDepartment of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeWT0970
S2N - Soil to Nutrition - Work package 3 (WP3) - Sustainable intensification - optimisation at multiple scales
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online09 Feb 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted07 Feb 2021
PublisherElsevier Sci Ltd
ISSN0269-7491

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