Trace metal in coastal waters: focus on their dynamic, speciation and bioavailability under various environmental conditions
Estuarine and coastal ecosystems provide multiple ecological, social and economic services, in particular for the fishing industry. Despite all the efforts done in environmental management, pollution associated with the rapid coastal development and intensive industrialization remains one of the main threats towards marine ecosystems. Specifically, chemical pollution induced by trace metals (TM) is of specific concern as coastal areas are generally prone to accumulate them. Continuous monitoring efforts has led to a better understanding of the fate of TM in the marine environment, but limited knowledge exists on their bioavailability towards marine organisms. The toxicity of these trace elements is not only related to their concentration but also strongly linked with their biogeochemical speciation which shows both seasonal and spatial variation. Thus, the main goal of my work is to investigate trace metal speciation in marine environments and bring their bioavailability in aquatic systems to light. I compare classic active TM sampling procedures with the passive sampling technique of Diffusive Gradients in Thin-films (DGT) which I tried to apply in various marine locations: from shallow seawaters in the North Sea to deep and anoxic zones in the Baltic Sea, by way of transition ecosystems like the Scheldt Estuary.
Belgian Part of the North Sea (BPNS), Scheldt Estuary, Baltic Sea, Mediterranean Sea
Trace metals, DGT, Speciation, Coastal waters, Biogeochemistry