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Redox conditions and heavy metals distribution in mangrove forests receiving effluents from shrimp farms (Teremba Bay, New Caledonia)

Abstract : Purpose The mangroves of New Caledonia, in the south Pacific, act as a buffer between a lagoon of more than 20,000 km2 and the island, which is characterized by ultramafic rocks and lateritic soils that are exploited for their richness in heavy metals. We will provide a better understanding of the redox conditions, and of heavy metal distributions in mangroves receiving shrimp farm effluents. Materials and methods Samples were collected from four areas defined in terms of vegetation composition: a salt flat, an Avicennia marina forest, in which effluents are released; a Rhizophora stylosa forest, and a dead Rhizophora forest. They were collected during times of maximum effluent release. Some measurements on pore water were also done during a period without effluent. Cores (70 cm deep) were collected at low tide with an Eijkelkamp gouge auger, and pore waters were extracted using soil moisture samplers. Physico-chemical parameters (pH, Eh, salinity) were measured by directly inserting the probes into cores. Total nitrogen and total sulfur were also determined. The sedimentary organic content was studied using a Rock-Eval 6 pyrolysis. Finally, heavy metal concentrations were determined, both in the solid and the dissolved phases, using an HR-ICP-AES. Results and discussion The distribution of heavy metals in the core collected in the salt flat is mainly controlled, on the one hand, by the sedimentary organic content, and on the other hand, by the elevation of the area, which induced dessication. The release of effluent within the Avicennia stand induced anoxic conditions on the whole depth profile, while these conditions are suboxic without effluent release, probably inducing different metal speciation. The Rhizophora forests, located at 100 m from the release point, do not seem to show any impact from the effluent phase, as indicated by the redox profiles which show similar results with and without effluent release. Beneath these two stands, conditions are mainly anoxic and sulfidic, as a result of the decomposition of high organic matter content. Conclusions The release of effluent within the Avicennia stand, by modifying the length of waterlogging, clearly modifies the redox conditions. We suggest that the differences in redox conditions between the two periods modify the carrier phase of heavy metals, being mainly associated with sulfides during effluent release. Metals are thus less mobile, and consequently when mangrove receives effluents, they act as a sink for trace metals.
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Submitted on : Friday, January 28, 2011 - 10:40:49 AM
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Cyril Marchand, Elisabeth Lallier-Vergès, M. Allenbach. Redox conditions and heavy metals distribution in mangrove forests receiving effluents from shrimp farms (Teremba Bay, New Caledonia). Journal of Soils and Sediments, Springer Verlag, 2011, 11, pp.529-541. ⟨10.1007/s11368-010-0330-3⟩. ⟨insu-00559759⟩

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