Relationships between sediment copper bioavailability and uptake by Salicornia europaea

Chris Smillie

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster

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Salt marshes can be classed as sinks for heavy metal pollution. However, total metal content does not necessarily imply bioavailability. The roots of Salicornia spp. have previously been shown to covary with sediment copper concentrations. This study used sediments and plants from Restronguet Creek (heavily polluted), Lelant (moderately polluted) and the Gannel (lightly polluted) from Cornwall, UK. These sediments were subject to sequential extractions to determine water soluble, exchangeable and total copper concentrations. Using Spearman’s rho, the roots were found to correlate significantly with the exchangeable and total fraction, but not the water soluble. There was no correlation with the aerial portion and sediment fractions. Therefore, S. europaea roots were confirmed as a biomonitor. However, bioavailability studies presented no greater understanding to uptake than total concentrations. In the most polluted estuaries, high concentrations of copper were present in the roots, indicating a potential for phytostabilisation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPrint publication - 19 Dec 2022
EventBritish Ecological Society Annual Meeting 2022 - EICC, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 18 Dec 202221 Dec 2022


ConferenceBritish Ecological Society Annual Meeting 2022
Abbreviated titleBES 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • saltmarsh
  • Halophytes
  • Biomonitor
  • metals
  • copper


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