The Ionian beaches of Sicily are of particular ecological interest because they include the basin of the largest active volcano in Europe and hosts both sites subject to natural protection constraints, as well as important industrial settlements. Consequently, the possibilities for these areas to become polluted are numerous. The sandhopper Talitrus saltator has proven to be a good bioindicator of contamination by numerous trace metals on some European coasts. Nevertheless, no data are available for the populations inhabiting the shores of the southern Mediterranean. Now, as metal accumulation has been shown to vary intraspecifically, the aim of this study was to evaluate trace metal accumulation in adults of T. saltator inhabiting Ionian coastal areas of Sicily and make an assessment of natural and anthropogenic metal pollution of this strip of coast. We also extended our survey to As, Co, Mo, Se, Sn and V never investigated before in this species. Significant differences in metal concentration among sites were found in both sand samples and amphipod tissues. The highest metal content was observed near the mouth of Simeto, the longest river of Sicily which collects waters coming from the volcanic territory of Mount Etna. The bioaccumulation of Cd, Cu, Hg and Zn in T. saltator is fully confirmed; it is also proven for As and Mo and assumed for Cr, Fe, Mn and V. Our outcomes let us to evaluate the prevailing influence of telluric contamination of the Ionian sandy shores of Sicily by trace metals. We also come to the conclusion that in the northern sites, pollution originates from volcanic emission while anthropogenic influence prevails in the southern ones.

Bioaccumulation of trace elements in the sandhopper Talitrus saltator (Montagu) from the Ionian sandy coasts of Sicily

CONTI, Erminia;
2016-01-01

Abstract

The Ionian beaches of Sicily are of particular ecological interest because they include the basin of the largest active volcano in Europe and hosts both sites subject to natural protection constraints, as well as important industrial settlements. Consequently, the possibilities for these areas to become polluted are numerous. The sandhopper Talitrus saltator has proven to be a good bioindicator of contamination by numerous trace metals on some European coasts. Nevertheless, no data are available for the populations inhabiting the shores of the southern Mediterranean. Now, as metal accumulation has been shown to vary intraspecifically, the aim of this study was to evaluate trace metal accumulation in adults of T. saltator inhabiting Ionian coastal areas of Sicily and make an assessment of natural and anthropogenic metal pollution of this strip of coast. We also extended our survey to As, Co, Mo, Se, Sn and V never investigated before in this species. Significant differences in metal concentration among sites were found in both sand samples and amphipod tissues. The highest metal content was observed near the mouth of Simeto, the longest river of Sicily which collects waters coming from the volcanic territory of Mount Etna. The bioaccumulation of Cd, Cu, Hg and Zn in T. saltator is fully confirmed; it is also proven for As and Mo and assumed for Cr, Fe, Mn and V. Our outcomes let us to evaluate the prevailing influence of telluric contamination of the Ionian sandy shores of Sicily by trace metals. We also come to the conclusion that in the northern sites, pollution originates from volcanic emission while anthropogenic influence prevails in the southern ones.
Talitridae; Sicilian beaches; trace elements
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/18235
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