Hydrocarbons in a coral reef ecosystem subjected to anthropogenic pressures (La Réunion Island, Indian Ocean)

Abstract : The La Saline fringing reef, which is the most important coral reef complex of La Réunion Island, (southwestern Indian Ocean), is subjected to anthropogenic pressures through river and groundwater inputs. Salinity and biogeochemical parameters (silicates, nitrates, dissolved organic carbon, chlorophyll-a), as well as aliphatic hydrocarbons (AHs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were analysed in particulate and dissolved material from groundwaters, rivers, harbour, back reef, fore reef and oceanic waters in the La Saline reef area during the rainy season (February–March 2012). Particulate and dissolved AH concentration ranges were 0.07–144 and 0.06–0.58 mg L-1 respectively. Particulate and dissolved PAH concentrations ranges were 4.3–326 and 28–350 ng L-1 respectively. AHs, dominated by nC15, nC17, nC18 compounds or nC26, nC27, nC29, nC31 compounds, were mainly of biogenic origin (phytoplankton, bacteria, higher-plant debris) although some anthropogenic (petroleum inputs) signatures were recorded in the dissolved phase from the harbour and fore reef areas. PAHs, dominated by two- to three-ring compounds and their alkylated homologues, reflected unburned petroleum inputs, but probably also biogenic sources. From the distribution of salinity, biogeochemical parameters and hydrocarbons, we found that inland waters flowed mainly in the surface and in the southern part of reef waters and that particulate PAHs allowed tracking these inland water intrusions in fore reef waters. Finally, this pilot study highlights the uncoupling between the dynamics of AHs and PAHs in tropical environments.
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Submitted on : Monday, June 29, 2015 - 9:07:08 AM
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Catherine Guigue, Lionel Bigot, Jean Turquet, Marc Tedetti, Nicolas Ferretto, et al.. Hydrocarbons in a coral reef ecosystem subjected to anthropogenic pressures (La Réunion Island, Indian Ocean). Environmental Chemistry, CSIRO Publishing, 2015, 12 (3), pp.350-365. ⟨10.1071/EN14194⟩. ⟨hal-01169236⟩



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