Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2021-158
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2021-158

  12 Aug 2021

12 Aug 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

Heavy metal uptake of near-shore benthic foraminifera during multi-metal culturing experiments

Sarina Schmidt1, Edmund Charles Hathorne1, Joachim Schönfeld1, and Dieter Garbe-Schönberg2 Sarina Schmidt et al.
  • 1GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Wischhofstraße 1-3, 24148 Kiel, Germany
  • 2Institute of Geosciences, Kiel University, Ludewig-Meyn-Straße 10, 24118 Kiel, Germany

Abstract. Heavy metal pollution originating from anthropogenic sources, e.g., mining, industry and extensive land use, is increasing in many parts of the world and influences coastal marine environments for a long time. The elevated input of heavy metals into the marine system potentially affects the biota because of their toxicity, persistence and bioaccumulation. An emerging tool for environmental applications is the heavy metal incorporation into foraminiferal tests calcite, which facilitates monitoring of anthropogenic footprints on recent and past environmental systems. The aim of this study is to investigate whether the incorporation of heavy metals in foraminifera is a direct function of their concentration in seawater. Culturing experiments with a mixture of dissolved chromium (Cr), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), silver (Ag), cadmium (Cd), tin (Sn), mercury (Hg) and lead (Pb) in artificial seawater were carried out over a wide concentration range to assess the uptake of heavy metals by the near-shore foraminiferal species Ammonia aomoriensis, Ammonia batava and Elphidium excavatum. Seawater analysis exhibited the increasing metal concentrations between culturing phases and revealed high metal concentrations in the beginning of the culturing phases due to the punctual metal addition. Furthermore, a loss of metals during the culturing process was discovered, which lead to a deviation between the expected and the actual concentrations of the metals in seawater. Laser ablation ICP-MS analysis of the newly formed calcite revealed species-specific differences in the incorporation of heavy metals. The foraminiferal calcite of all three species reveals a strong positive correlation with Pb and Ag concentrations in the culturing medium. Ammonia aomoriensis further showed a correlation with Mn and Cu, A. batava with Mn and Hg and E. excavatum with Cr and Ni, and partially also with Hg. Zn, Sn and Cd showed no clear trend for the species studied, which may be caused by the little variation of these metals in seawater. Our calibrations and the calculated partition coefficients render A. aomoriensis, A. batava and E. excavatum as natural archives that enable the direct quantification of metals in polluted and pristine environments. This in turn allows monitoring of the ecosystem status of areas that are potentially under the threat of anthropogenic pollution in order to evaluate contemporary emission reduction measures.

Sarina Schmidt et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on bg-2021-158', Anonymous Referee #1, 01 Sep 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on bg-2021-158', Anonymous Referee #2, 27 Sep 2021

Sarina Schmidt et al.

Sarina Schmidt et al.

Viewed

Total article views: 284 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total Supplement BibTeX EndNote
209 66 9 284 14 4 3
  • HTML: 209
  • PDF: 66
  • XML: 9
  • Total: 284
  • Supplement: 14
  • BibTeX: 4
  • EndNote: 3
Views and downloads (calculated since 12 Aug 2021)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 12 Aug 2021)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 265 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 265 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
1
 
 
 
 
Latest update: 17 Oct 2021
Download
Short summary
The study is addressing the potential of marine shell-forming organisms as proxy carrier for heavy metal contaminations in the environment. The aim is to investigate if the incorporation of heavy metals is a direct function of the concentration in seawater. Culturing experiments with a metal mixture were carried out over a wide concentration range. Our results render shell-forming organism as natural archives that enable the direct quantification of metals in polluted and pristine environments.
Altmetrics