The accumulative partitioning of the heavy metals Cu, Pb and Zn in the grey mangrove, Avicennia marina, were studied under field conditions. Copper and Pb were accumulated in root tissue to levels higher than surrounding sediment levels. Zinc was accumulated to levels reflecting sediment concentrations. Strong linear relationships existed for all metals in sediments with metals in root tissue. Accumulation of Cu in leaf tissue followed a linear relationship at lower sediment concentrations, with an exclusion or saturation mechanism at higher sediment concentrations. Lead showed little mobility to leaf tissue. Zn showed restricted accumulation in leaf tissue, which correlated with sediment concentrations. Decreases in sediment pH were found to increase Zn accumulation to root tissue. Increasing concentrations of Pb and Zn in sediments resulted in a greater accumulation of Pb to both root and leaf tissue. A. marina roots may be employed as a biological indicator of environmental exposure of Cu, Pb and Zn and leaves for Zn, with temporal monitoring.
Environmental Pollution Vol. 123, Issue 1, p. 139-151