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Bioavailability of copper in contaminated sediments assessed by a DGT approach and the uptake of copper by the aquatic plant Myriophyllum aquaticum

Authors

  • Amélie Caillat,

    1. Centre Européen de Recherche et d'Enseignement des Géosciences de l'Environnement, Aix-Marseille Université, Aix en Provence, France
    2. Electricité de France, Division Recherche et Développement, Laboratoire National d'Hydraulique et Environnement, Chatou, France
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  • Philippe Ciffroy,

    1. Electricité de France, Division Recherche et Développement, Laboratoire National d'Hydraulique et Environnement, Chatou, France
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  • Matthias Grote,

    1. Electricité de France, Division Recherche et Développement, Laboratoire National d'Hydraulique et Environnement, Chatou, France
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  • Sylvain Rigaud,

    1. Centre Européen de Recherche et d'Enseignement des Géosciences de l'Environnement, Aix-Marseille Université, Aix en Provence, France
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  • Jean-Marie Garnier

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre Européen de Recherche et d'Enseignement des Géosciences de l'Environnement, Aix-Marseille Université, Aix en Provence, France
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Abstract

The assessment of the potentially harmful effects of metals on biota depends on the speciation and bioavailability of the metals. In the present study, the authors investigated Cu accumulation and toxicity in the aquatic plant Myriophyllum aquaticum after exposure to artificial sediments varying in peat or ferric hydroxide content and spiked with Cu (5–200 mg kg−1). Modeling of the kinetic diffusive gradient in thin film (DGT) measurements revealed fast and slow Cu resupply from the solid phase for sediment formulated with and without peat, respectively. Myriophyllum aquaticum proved to be sensitive to Cu, as the Cu accumulation and growth differed depending on the sediment composition and Cu concentration. Comparing the Cu accumulation in M. aquaticum with total dissolved concentration, free concentration, and concentration in solution derived from DGT measurements (CDGT), Cu concentrations revealed that CDGT concentrations were a better predictor of accumulation than the others. However, the relatively weak correlation observed (r2 = 0.6) and the fact that plant uptake does not increase proportionally to DGT fluxes suggest that Cu uptake in plants was not diffusion limited. Thus, the free Cu concentrations near the root surface were sufficient to meet the plant's demand during the experiment. Furthermore, labile complexes that continuously resupply the Cu2+ pool may also contribute to the concentrations available for plant uptake. In the range of Cu concentrations investigated in the present study, saturation of uptake processes as well as toxicity are considered responsible for the poor DGT prediction of plant uptake. Environ Toxicol Chem 2014;33:278–285. © 2013 SETAC

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