Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Sydney harbor's seaweed a deadly diet for sea creatures

22.08.2006
Sydney Harbour's seaweeds may be having a deadly effect on the small animals that eat them because they "bio-accumulate" the toxic heavy metals that pollute the harbour's waters, a new study has found.

Up to three-quarters of the offspring of small crustaceans that feed on a common brown seaweed, for example, are killed when they are exposed to copper at levels found in some parts of the harbour, laboratory and field experiments have shown.

The results suggest that other animals higher up the food chain may be indirectly suffering the consequences of pollution as well, says the study, published in the latest issue of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.

Heavy metals such as copper, lead and zinc usually find their way into waterways from stormwater runoff, industrial waters and motorised watercraft.

The University of New South Wales research report is from a team that is mid-way through a harbour-sampling program that has recorded toxic levels of heavy metals such as copper and zinc among the affected brown algae in Rushcutters Bay, near Darling Point, and in Mort Bay around Balmain.

"Marine macroalgae such as brown algae are efficient 'accumulators' of heavy metals and appear to be relatively tolerant to their effects," says UNSW biologist and research team member, Dr Emma Johnston.

"However, a wide variety of sea creatures that rely on the algae for food cannot tolerate the heavy metals in high concentrations."

She and her colleagues, David Roberts and Alistair Poore, observed a 75% death rate among juvenile crustaceans when they ate experimentally contaminated brown algae containing high levels of copper. Beds of the same seaweed are important shelter habitats for many small marine creatures.

"Contaminated algae in Sydney Harbour represent poor habitat and we found that fewer animals choose to live on this algae," says Dr Johnston. "This may have further consequences for animals such as fish that are further up the food chain"

Emma Johnston | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.unsw.edu.au

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Global threat to primates concerns us all
19.01.2017 | Deutsches Primatenzentrum GmbH - Leibniz-Institut für Primatenforschung

nachricht Reducing household waste with less energy
18.01.2017 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New Study Will Help Find the Best Locations for Thermal Power Stations in Iceland

19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Not of Divided Mind

19.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Molecule flash mob

19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>