Author(s): Tam NF, Wong YS, Tam NF, Wong YS
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Abstract The distribution and chemical fractionation of heavy metals retained in mangrove soils receiving wastewater were examined by soil column leaching experiments. The columns, filled with mangrove soils collected from two swamps in Hong Kong and the People's Republic of China, were irrigated three times a week for 150 days with synthetic wastewater containing 4 mg l(-1) Cu, 20 mg l(-1) Zn, 20 mg l(-1) Mn and 0.4 mg l(-1) Cd. Soil columns leached with artificial seawater (without any heavy metals) were used as the control. At the end of the leaching experiments, soil samples from each column were divided into five layers according to its depth viz. 0-1, 1-3, 3-5, 5-10 and > 10 cm, and analyzed for total and extractable heavy metal content. The fractionation of heavy metals in the surface soil samples (0-1 cm) was investigated by the sequential extraction technique. In both types of mangrove soils, the surface layer (0-1 cm) of the columns receiving wastewater had significantly higher concentrations of total Cu, Cd, Mn and Zn than the control. Concentrations declined significantly with soil depth. The proportion of exchangeable heavy metals in soils receiving wastewater was significantly higher than that found in the control, about 30\% of the total heavy metals accumulated in the soil masses of the treated columns were extracted by ammonium acetate at pH 4. The sequential extraction results show that in native mangrove soils (the soils without any treatment), the major portion of Cu, Zn, Mn and Cd was associated with the residual and precipitated fractions with very low concentrations in more labile phases. However, in mangrove soils receiving wastewater, a significantly higher percentage of Mn, Zn and Cd was found in the water-soluble and exchangeable fractions. Copper appeared to be more strongly adsorbed in mangrove soils than the other heavy metals. In general, heavy metal accumulation in the surface mangrove soils collected in Hong Kong was higher than those in the PRC, although the metals in the latter soil type were more strongly bound. These findings suggest that whether the heavy metal retained in managrove soils becomes a secondary source or a permanent sink would depend on the kinds of heavy metals and also the types of mangrove soils.
This article was published in Environ Pollut
and referenced in Journal of Environmental & Analytical Toxicology