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TP1 Sediment Quality Assessment Case Studies
() Pollutant Geochemistry and biological effects of sediments from western Baltic Sea.
Liehr, G.1, Witt, G.1, Ahlf, W.2, Heise, S.2, Neddermann, K.2, 1 Baltic Sea Research Institute (IOW), Rostock, Germany2 Technical University of Hamburg Harburg (TUHH), Hamburg, Germany
ABSTRACT- The aim of this study was to evaluate the biological effects of PAHs in a highly polluted marine ecosystem. The concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were analyzed in sediment and mussels from a contaminated and non-contaminated area located in the western Baltic Sea between 2001 and 2004. The contaminated site is situated in the Luebeck Bight (LB). During the 1960s industrial waste products (dust and mud) were dumped at this site. The results were compared to a reference site in the Mecklenburg Bight which represents the natural contamination situation in the western Baltic Sea. The results show that the sediments from the dumping site were highly contaminated with PAHs. The contamination levels were higher by a factor of 80 to 200 as compared to the reference site. The same samples were used to test the effects on organisms using marine and limnic bioassays in order to estimate the toxic potential of the sediments. The results were clearly correlated with the PAH results from the sediment analysis. The bacterial contact test showed a high toxicity with the sediments from the dumping sites (>80 %). Similarly, the algae growth inhibition test only showed a weak inhibition with the most concentrated eluates from the Mecklenburg Bight and stimulations at higher dilutions. Furthermore the results of PAH accumulation in soft tissue of Arctica islandica supported the higher toxicity of the dumping area. Strongly elevated PAH concentrations were measured in the species living there. Moreover the organism density was higher at the reference site in comparison to the dumping site. The absence of juvenile and adult individuals at the dumping site seems to be a sign that this ecological environment has not completely regenerated since the dumping event in the late 1950 to 1960s.
Key words: sediment, PAHs, mussel, bioassay
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