The southern basin of the Venice Lagoon has been the focus of fewer studies concerning contamination from heavy metals than the northern and central basins. A recent increase in urban waste waters from Chioggia town, as well as dockyards, shipping and fishing activities, affect this part of the lagoon. The aim of this study was to investigate the total mercury (THg) incidence in sediments and Nassarius reticulatus gastropods in order to assess its distribution and evaluate the level of contamination. THg concentration measured in bottom sediments ranged between 0.1 and 3.4 mg/kg d. wt. The enrichment factor (EF) showed high values (avg. 30, max 49) near the dockyards of Chioggia; the lowest (avg. 9, max 17) were found in the coastal marine sediments near the port entrance of the southern basin. THg in marine scavenger gastropods accumulated in N. reticulatus with concentrations falling within the range of 0.3–1.3 mg/kg d. wt. A positive correlation was found between THg concentration in sediments and in N. reticulatus in all sites, excluding the dockyards. A first local cause for mercury pollution might be attributed to the antifouling paints used in great quantity in the recent past near the town of Chioggia. Moreover, fine suspended sediments associated with tidal flushing are suggested as possibly being the vehicle for pollutant dispersal from the Marghera industrial area to the whole of Venice’s lagoon.

Mercury in sediments and Nassarius reticulatus (Gastropoda Prosobranchia) in the southern Venice Lagoon

Giani M;
2006

Abstract

The southern basin of the Venice Lagoon has been the focus of fewer studies concerning contamination from heavy metals than the northern and central basins. A recent increase in urban waste waters from Chioggia town, as well as dockyards, shipping and fishing activities, affect this part of the lagoon. The aim of this study was to investigate the total mercury (THg) incidence in sediments and Nassarius reticulatus gastropods in order to assess its distribution and evaluate the level of contamination. THg concentration measured in bottom sediments ranged between 0.1 and 3.4 mg/kg d. wt. The enrichment factor (EF) showed high values (avg. 30, max 49) near the dockyards of Chioggia; the lowest (avg. 9, max 17) were found in the coastal marine sediments near the port entrance of the southern basin. THg in marine scavenger gastropods accumulated in N. reticulatus with concentrations falling within the range of 0.3–1.3 mg/kg d. wt. A positive correlation was found between THg concentration in sediments and in N. reticulatus in all sites, excluding the dockyards. A first local cause for mercury pollution might be attributed to the antifouling paints used in great quantity in the recent past near the town of Chioggia. Moreover, fine suspended sediments associated with tidal flushing are suggested as possibly being the vehicle for pollutant dispersal from the Marghera industrial area to the whole of Venice’s lagoon.
Mercury; Sediments; Nassarius reticulatus; Venice lagoon; gastropods
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.14083/750
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