Stable isotopes in biota reflect the graduated influence of sewage effluent along a tropical macro-tidal creek

Warnakulasooriya, Kanchana Niwanthi, Butler, Edward Charles Villers, Gibb, Karen Susanne, and Munksgaard, Niels Crosley (2017) Stable isotopes in biota reflect the graduated influence of sewage effluent along a tropical macro-tidal creek. Marine and Freshwater Research, 68 (10). pp. 1855-1866.

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In hydrodynamically complex environments, where conventional water-quality parameters ma y not adequately quantify sewage influence, stable isotopes in time-integrating biological tissues may provide an alternative monitoring tool. We measured nitrogen and carbon isotope ratios and concentrations in mangrove leaves and muscle tissues of two species of gastropod snails to determine the dispersion and biological assimilation of sewage-derived nutrients in a macro-tidal creek. The values of stable isotope of nitrogen (δ15N) in mangrove leaves and gastropods from the affected creek were significantly higher than those in samples from an unaffected creek, reflecting a graduated influence of sewage-derived N. The δ15N values in mangrove leaves showed high repeatability between sampling rounds and this, coupled with ease of sampling, makes them an effective monitoring tool to trace the influence of sewage effluent in receiving waters. The combined use of values of δ15N and stable isotope of carbon in gastropods showed some promise as a monitoring tool, but intra- and inter-specific variations in isotope values due to spatial differences in available food sources may affect their reliability in tracing sewage influence.

Item ID: 52281
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1448-6059
Keywords: benthos, biomonitoring, nutrient dynamics, sedimentation
Funders: Power and Water Corporation, Charles Darwin University (CDU), Australian Research Council (ARC), NT Department of Business, Ichthys LNG Project, NT Department of Land Resource Management
Projects and Grants: Power and Water Corporation grant number 953, ARC LP120200110
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2018 22:53
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410402 Environmental assessment and monitoring @ 50%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4105 Pollution and contamination > 410503 Groundwater quality processes and contaminated land assessment @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960503 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 100%
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