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Factors affecting metal concentrations in reed plants (Phragmites australis) of intertidal marshes in the Scheldt estuary
Du Laing, G.; Van de Moortel, A.M.K.; Moors, W.; De Grauwe, P.; Meers, E.; Tack, F.M.G.; Verloo, M.G. (2009). Factors affecting metal concentrations in reed plants (Phragmites australis) of intertidal marshes in the Scheldt estuary. Ecol. Eng. 35(2): 310-318. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoleng.2008.01.002
In: Ecological Engineering. Elsevier: Amsterdam; London; New York; Tokyo. ISSN 0925-8574; e-ISSN 1872-6992, meer
Peer reviewed article  

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Trefwoorden
    Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex Steud. [WoRMS]; Marien
Author keywords
    Phragmites australis; Reed; Metal; Wetland; Plant uptake; Schelde; Scheldt; Sediment; Salinity; Bioavailability

Auteurs  Top 
  • Du Laing, G.
  • Van de Moortel, A.M.K.
  • Moors, W.
  • De Grauwe, P.
  • Meers, E.
  • Tack, F.M.G.
  • Verloo, M.G.

Abstract
    We aimed to identify the environmental factors which significantly affect metal uptake by reed plants in the intertidal marshes along the river Scheldt. Transfer coefficients, defined as the ratio of metal concentrations in reed stems to the metal contents in specific sediment fractions (i.e. the exchangeable Cd and Zn fraction and total Cr, Cu, Ni and Pb content), were calculated for each sampling site. They were inversely related to the sediment clay and/or organic matter content. Metal mobility and thus plant availability is higher in sediments with a lower clay or organic matter content. Moreover, the plants might actively accumulate in particular essential elements when concentrations in the sediments are rather low, which is the case in sediments low in clay and organic matter contents. Finally, more sandy sediments are expected to be susceptible to occasional oxidation of sulphides, which leads to an increased metal availability. A higher salinity promoted the uptake of Cu, Cr and Zn.

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