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Keywords:

  • Hydrothermal activity;
  • intertidal;
  • macroalgae;
  • metals

Abstract

Shallow water hydrothermal vents can be compared to polluted places due to high concentrations of heavy metals, and are thus good models for bioaccumulation studies. The present study intended to estimate the time of exposure required for the accumulation of certain elements to stabilize in specimens of Cystoseira abies-marina, to be used as a reference in future work. Cystoseira abies-marina intertidal specimens were transplanted from Mosteiros (a non-hydrothermal and pristine site) to Ferraria (with hydrothermal activity) and left there. Transplanted samples were collected after 1, 2, 4 and 8 weeks and the concentrations of Cd, Mg, Mn and Zn were measured through flame atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Although further studies with increased periods of exposure are needed because the concentration of these elements never stabilized in the collected samples, there is strong evidence that increased time of exposure led to increased concentrations of Cd, Mg, Mn, but not Zn. These results are consistent with the assumption that C. abies-marina is bioaccumulating some of the heavy metals and can thus be a good indicator for polluted waters.