A comprehensive study of metal distribution in three main classes of seaweed

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This paper provides one of the most comprehensive studies of metal distributions in three main macroalgae species. In this novel study, levels of total, intracellular and surface bound Pb, Zn, As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Mn and Ni associated with Polysiphonia lanosa (L) Tandy, Ascophyllum nodosum (L) Le Jolis, Fucus vesiculosus (L) and Ulva sp. were determined. Additionally, water and sediment metal levels were analysed to gain an insight into the relative uptake efficiencies of different macroalgal species. Samples were collected from a clean site in Fethard-on-Sea, Wexford, Ireland (52°11′53.68′N, 6°49′34.64′W), in May 2008. Results demonstrated that total, intracellular and surface bound metal levels varied according to metal and seaweed species, with the highest proportion of metals found to be intracellular. Inhibition of Mn uptake by Zn was indicated for P. lanosa. Furthermore, P. lanosa had enhanced bioaccumulation ability, with the highest Concentration Factor reported of any seaweed to date.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-177
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012


  • Bioaccumulation
  • Concentration factor
  • Metals
  • Pollution
  • Seaweeds


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