Temporal and spatial variations in metals and arsenic contamination in water, sediment and biota of freshwater, marine and coastal environments after the Fundão dam failure Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Temporal and spatial variabilities in concentrations of metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mn, Pb and Zn) and metalloid (As) associated with the Fundão dam tailings were evaluated in water, sediment and biota from freshwater (tributary, river, lakes and lagoons), marine and coastal (mangroves and beaches) ecosystems affected by the Mariana dam disaster (southeastern Brazil). In freshwater shrimps and fishes, temporal increases in the concentrations of most elements analyzed were observed. This finding was clearly associated with temporal increases in the concentrations of As and metals observed in both water and sediment. In turn, freshwater plankton showed only a temporal increase in Hg concentration, which was also associated with an increased concentration of this metal in the abiotic matrices. In marine fishes, temporal increases were only observed for Cu, Fe and Pb concentrations. Also, temporal increase was observed for Fe concentration in marine plankton (phytoplankton and zooplankton) and shrimps. Marine phytoplankton also showed a temporal increase in Hg concentration. All these findings were clearly associated with temporal increases in the concentrations of these metals in marine sediments. Mangrove crabs showed temporal increases in Hg and Cd, which were associated with temporal increases in water Hg and sediment Cd concentrations, respectively. In turn, beach crabs displayed temporal increases in Mn and Zn, which were associated with temporal increases in the concentrations of these metals in sediments, especially for Mn. In summary, all environmental matrices evaluated in the present study were shown to be contaminated with metals and metalloid associated with the Fundão dam tailings. Additionally, findings reported in the present study relative to the spatial variabilities observed in the whole aquatic area affected by the Fundão dam failure clearly reinforce the need of incorporating biological diversity in monitoring programs aiming to assess environmental health of aquatic systems, considering that patterns of metals and metalloid contamination levels may vary among taxa.

authors

  • Costa, Patrícia Gomes
  • Marube, Liziane Cardoso
  • Artifon, Vanda
  • Escarrone, Ana Laura
  • Hernandes, Juliana Carriconde
  • Zebral, Yuri Dornelles
  • Bianchini, Adalto

publication date

  • February 2022