Trace metals in Posidonia oceanica in a coastal area of the Ionian Sea (Calabria, Italy)


As, Cd, Cu and Pb concentrations were measured in Posidonia oceanica sampled from meadows located in two sites along the calabrian coast (Ionian Sea, South-eastern Mediterranean). By dating the scales and the rhizome using retrospective procedures (lepidochronology), a time series over a period of nine years (1995-2004) was analysed. Throughout the whole lepidochronological period, the arsenic content in the scales was tenfold higher than that measured in the rhizome with a peak in the lepidochronological year 1996-1997 and a general decrease in the years after. Pb concentration also showed a tendency to decrease with time, whereas the Cd and Cu concentration were increasing. A comparison of the metal level in dead sheaths (scales) and living tissue (leaves) was also performed. The detailed distribution of the trace metals along the leaf axis and in the leaves at different developmental stages (adult, intermediate and juvenile) showed some differences in the metal content. The results also indicate that the arsenic content measured in the leaf blade reflects the high As content measured at the superficial sediments at one of the two sampled sites, demonstrating, for the first time, that P. oceanica would be a good indicator for this element.

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Cozza, R. , Iaquinta, A. , Cozza, D. and Ruffolo, L. (2013) Trace metals in Posidonia oceanica in a coastal area of the Ionian Sea (Calabria, Italy). Open Journal of Ecology, 3, 102-108. doi: 10.4236/oje.2013.32012.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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