Cumulative influences of a small city and former mining activities on the sediment quality of a subtropical estuarine protected area
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This study aimed to evaluate the sediment quality in the estuarine protected area known as Canan,ia-Iguape-Peruibe (CIP-PA), located on the southeastern coast of Brazil. The study was designed considering possible negative effects induced by the city of Canan,ia on the sediment quality of surrounding areas. This evaluation was performed using chemical and ecotoxicological analyses. Sediments were predominantly sandy, with low CaCO3 contents. Amounts of organic matter varied, but higher contents occurred closer to the city, as well as did Fe and Total Recoverable Oils and Greases (TROGs) concentrations. Contamination by Cd and Cu was revealed in some samples, while concentrations of Zn were considered low. Chronic toxicity was detected in all tested sediments and acute toxicity occurred only in sediments collected near the city. The principal component analysis (PCA) revealed an association among Cd, Cu, Fe, TROG, fines, organic matter, CaCO3, and chronic toxicity, whereas acute toxicity was found to be associated with Zn and mud. However, because Zn levels were low, acute toxicity was likely due to a contaminant that was not measured. Results show that there is a broad area within the CIP-PA that is under the influence of mining activities (chronic toxicity, moderate contamination by metals), whereas poorer conditions occur closer to Canan,ia (acute toxicity); thus, the urban area seems to constitute a relevant source of contaminants for the estuarine complex. These results show that contamination is already capable of producing risks for the local aquatic biota, which suggests that the CIP-PA effectiveness in protecting estuarine biota may be threatened.
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