Elevated levels of copper and zinc in sediment have been shown to adversely affect estuarine infauna. We investigated the additivity of the combined effects of copper and zinc on infaunal recolonisation through a manipulative field experiment in Orewa estuary, New Zealand, using defaunated sediment discs treated with these metals. The nature of their combined effects varied among infaunal taxa and the particular variables being examined. Additive effects were detected for species richness, for the mean log abundances of the polychaetes Prionospio sp. and Scoloplos cylindrifer and for the multivariate response of the community as a whole. Antagonistic effects were detected for the mean log abundances of total infauna and the polychaete Heteromastus sp. Characterising the potentially interactive nature of the combined effects of multiple heavy metals is essential in order to build predictive models of future environmental impacts of metal accumulation in estuarine sediments.
Environmental Pollution – Elsevier
Published: Jan 1, 2011
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