Determining the availability of sediment-bound trace metals to aquatic deposit-feeding animals

Open-File Report 80-341
By: , and 


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Physicochemical form affects, by as much as 1000 fold, the uptake rate by deposit-feeding clams of metals bound to sediments. The strength of metal binding to the different sedimentary binding substrates controls this effect. Statistical studies that were spatially intensive (comparing 35 stations in 17 estuaries) and temporally intensive (2 stations through 2 years time) indicate that sediments control the availability of Ag, Cd, Co, Pb, Zn, Fe, and Mn, and possibly Cu to clams and polychaete worms in nature. Metal concentrations removed from sediments by chemical extractants generally follow availability better than do total metal concentrations, but the specific extractant differs among different metals. Concentrations of binding substrates (Fe, Mn, organic carbon, humic substances) also statistically explain a proportion of the variance of metal concentrations in the animals, suggesting that metal partitioning among substrates in sediments is an important control on metal availability. The specific substrates which contribute to availability also differ among metals. Statistical assessment of metal form in sediments suggested that different substrates compete for the partitioning of metals, that each metal is partitioned among a variety of forms in an oxidized sediment, and that partitioning will vary with the physicochemical characteristics of the sediments. (USGS)

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Determining the availability of sediment-bound trace metals to aquatic deposit-feeding animals
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 80-341
DOI 10.3133/ofr80341
Edition -
Year Published 1980
Language ENGLISH
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey,
Description 333 p., [68] leaves of plates :ill. ;28 cm.
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