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Microbial community activity in response to multiple contaminant exposure: a feasible tool for sediment quality assessment

Authors
  • Nascimento, Juliana Ribeiro
  • Silveira, Ana Elisa Fonseca
  • Bidone, Edison Dausacker
  • Sabadini-Santos, Elisamara
Type
Published Article
Journal
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
May 23, 2019
Volume
191
Issue
6
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10661-019-7532-y
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

Sediments represent complex mixtures and the impacts of their physical and chemical processes on biota are important for assessing potential health risks. We aimed to rank sediment samples from Guanabara Bay by developing an algorithm (quality ratio—QR), focusing on key sediment parameters (fine grain size, total organic carbon (TOC), metal concentrations) and enzymatic activities (dehydrogenase (DHA-energy production into cell) and esterases (EST-hydrolase organic matter outside the cell membrane)) of in situ microbial communities. Our QR is supported by quantitative information and significant correlations between geochemical and microbial processes. The QR is a function of the dependent term DHA/EST and the geochemical term (TOC×∑CF)/fine-grained sediment, where ∑CF is the sum of contamination factors (ratio between actual and background metal concentrations). We could rank our sampling sites into three risk classes based on QR: low, medium, and high. Our findings suggest altered homeostasis due to the development of contamination resistance. We applied a sensitivity analysis, using Brazilian law for sediment quality assessment, to calibrate our risk index. Our QR is suitable for measuring the potential health risk of any sediment, especially in developing countries with serious technical limitations, since its evaluated parameters are cheap, fast, and easy to obtain.

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