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Trace elements in sediments and bioaccumulation in European silver eels (Anguilla anguilla L.) from a Mediterranean lagoon (SE Italy)

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Samples of surface sediments and tissues (liver and muscle) of commercially available European silver eels (Anguilla anguilla L.) collected from Varano lagoon (Italy) were analysed to determine trace element contents. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to highlight both the differences between sampling sites and the influence of channel discharges. Atomic ratios indices for sediment data and biological enrichment factors (BEF) for eel tissues were calculated in order to evaluate the enrichment factor due to human activities. The highest levels of As (11.9 µg g−1) and Zn (14.1 µg g−1) were observed in the south-eastern zone of the lagoon, which is influenced by urban and agricultural discharges. The low levels of Hg observed in this study (0.04 µg g−1) led us to exclude both natural and human local sources of this element. Trace element concentrations of all elements were lower in muscle than in liver tissue. Significant enrichment of Cu and Zn was found in livers.
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Keywords: Mediterranean lagoon; eels; multivariate analysis; surface sediments; trace elements

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Research Centre in Lagoon Ecology, Fishery and Aquaculture (Ecolab), Polo Universitario Grossetano, University of Siena, Via Lungolago dei Pescatori s.n.58015 Orbetello (GR), Italy 2: Department of Lesina (FG),National Research Council – Institute of Marine Science, Via Pola 471010 Lesina (FG), Italy 3: Department of Environmental Science,University of Siena, via Mattioli 453100 Siena, Italy 4: Department of Chemical and Biosystems Sciences,University of Siena, via Aldo Moro 153100 Siena, Italy

Publication date: May 15, 2012

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