Screening of seaweeds in the East China Sea as potential bio-monitors of heavy metals

Yaoru Pan, Thomas Wernberg, Thibaut de Bettignies, Marianne Holmer, Ke Li, Jiaping Wu, Fang Lin, Yan Yu, Jiang Xu, Chaosheng Zhou, Zhixing Huang, Xi Xiao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Seaweeds are good bio-monitors of heavy metal pollution and have been included in European coastal monitoring programs. However, data for seaweed species in China are scarce or missing. In this study, we explored the potential of seaweeds as bio-monitor by screening the natural occurring seaweeds in the “Kingdom of seaweed and shellfish” at Dongtou Islands, the East China Sea. Totally, 12 seaweed species were collected from six sites, with richness following the sequence of Rhodophyta > Phaeophyta > Chlorophyta. The concentration of heavy metals (Cu, Cr, Ni, Zn, Pb, Cd, As) in the seaweeds was determined, and the bioaccumulation coefficient was calculated. A combination of four seaweeds, Pachydictyon coriaceum, Gelidium divaricatum, Sargassum thunbergii, and Pterocladiella capillacea, were proposed as bio-monitors due to their high bioaccumulation capabilities of specific heavy metals in the East China Sea and hence hinted the importance of using seaweed community for monitoring of pollution rather than single species. Our results provide first-hand data for the selection of bio-monitor species for heavy metals in the East China Sea and contribute to selection of cosmopolitan bio-monitor communities over geographical large area, which will benefit the establishment of monitoring programs for coastal heavy metal contamination.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number17
Pages (from-to)16640–16651
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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