Tracking trace elements into complex coral reef trophic networks

Abstract : The integration, accumulation and transfer of trace elements across the main tropic levels of many food webs are poorly documented. This is notably the case for the complex trophic webs of coral reef ecosystems. Our results show that in the south-west lagoon of New Caledonia both abiotic (i.e. sediments) and biotic (i.e. primary producers, consumers and predators) compartments are contaminated by trace elements. However, our analyses revealed different contamination patterns from the sources of organic matter to the predators. The trophic levels involved in the sedimentary benthic food web (S-BFW, based on the sedimentary organic matter) and to a lesser extent in the reef benthic food web (R-BFW, based on algal turf) were mainly contaminated by trace elements that originate from mining activities like Ni and associated trace elements (Co, Cr, Fe, and Mn). Trace elements linked to agro-industrial (As, Hg, and Zn) and urban (Ag, Cd, Cu, Pb, Se, and V) activities were also integrated into the S-BFW, but preferentially into the R-BFW, and to a lesser extent into the detrital benthic food web (D-BFW, supplied by sea-grass plants). Most of the trace elements were biodiminished with increasing trophic levels along food webs. However, a marked biomagnification was observed for Hg, and suspected for Se and Zn. These results provide important baseline information to better interpret trace element contamination in the different organisms and trophic levels in a highly diversified coral reef lagoon
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Submitted on : Friday, September 15, 2017 - 1:57:15 PM
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Marine J. Briand, Paco Bustamante, Xavier Bonnet, Carine Churlaud, Yves Letourneur. Tracking trace elements into complex coral reef trophic networks. Science of the Total Environment, Elsevier, 2018, 612, pp.1091-1104. ⟨10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.08.257⟩. ⟨hal-01588262⟩

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