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Evaluation of Ecological Function of Mangrove Soil on Absorbing Heavy Metals: A Case Study from the Dongzhaigang Mangrove in China

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Author(s): Kun Xin | Xing Huang | Qingqing Zhou | Zhili Chen

Journal: Journal of Ecology and Field Biology
ISSN 1975-020X

Volume: 33;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 15;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: ecological function | heavy metal | mangrove soil

ABSTRACT
Mangroves are special plant communities that live along intertidal zones in tropical and subtropical areas.They are regarded as one of the most important types of natural ecosystem in the world because of the many ecosystemfunctions that they perform, of which water purification is the most complex. Mangrove ecosystems are conducive tothe deposition and retention of heavy metals. So it is important to understand the impact of heavy metals on mangroveecosystems, and especially on soil subsystems. We examined the levels of heavy metals in the soil of mangroves in theDongzhaigang Mangrove National Nature Reserve. Dongzhaigang, the first mangrove nature reserve established inChina, is located south of Haikou in Hainan Island and encompasses 33.37 km2, of which mangroves comprise 20.56km2. To assess the impact of human activities, we collected a large number of soil samples in four sampling areas (theprotection station, the harbor, a tour area, and Yeboluo island) in the study area. We measured the concentrations of Cu,Pb, Zn and Cd in the soil samples using the spectra of polyatomic molecules. The average concentrations of Cu, Pb, Znand Cd were 5.04 μg/g, 10.36 μg/g, 20.06 μg/g and 0.06 μg/g, respectively, and the heavy metal concentrations werelowest in the protected area, highest in the harbor, and intermediate in Yeboluo Island and the tour area. The heavymetal concentrations in the soil collected from different sample plots are related not only to the physical and chemicalproperties of the soil, but also to the heavy metal emitted by nearby pollution sources. Our analysis indicates that touristboats are the main pollution sources in the study area.
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