Physiological responses of five seagrass species to trace metals
Trace metal run-off associated with urban and industrial development poses potential threats to seagrasses in adjacent coastal ecosystems, Seagrass from the largest urban (Moreton Bay) and industrial (Port Curtis) coastal regions in Queensland, Australia were assessed for metal concentrations of iron (Fe), aluminium (Al), zinc (Zn), chromium (Cr) and copper (Cu), Trace metal concentrations in seagrass (Zostera capricorni) leaf and root-rhizome tissue had the following overall trend: [Fe] > [Al] > [Zn] > [Cr] > [Cu]. Rainfall events and anthropogenic disturbances appeared to influence metal concentrations in seagrasses with the exception of Al, which does not appear to bioaccumulate, In laboratory experiments, five seagrass species (Halophila ovalis, H. spinulosa, Halodule uninervis, Z. capricorni, Cymodocea serrulata) were incubated with iron (1 mg Fe l(-1)) and copper (1 mg Cu l(-1)) and responses assessed by changes in PSII photochemical efficiency (Fv/Fm), free amino acid content and leaf/root-rhizome metal accumulation. Iron addition experiments only affected Halophila spp, while copper additions affected other seagrass species as well, Trace metal contamination of seagrasses could have ramifications for associated trophic assemblages through metal transfer and seagrass loss, The use of photosystem II photochemical efficiency as well as amino acid concentrations and composition proved to be useful sublethal indicators of trace metal toxicity in seagrasses. (C) 2000 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.
Keywords: Queensland, seagrass, trace metals, PSII photochemical efficiency, zostera-marina l, heavy-metals, zinc, limfjord, cadmium, denmark, , copper, toxicity, plants, bay