Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Mississippi State, Mississippi » Crop Science Research Laboratory » Genetics and Sustainable Agriculture Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #308126

Research Project: Integration of Site-Specific Crop Production Practices and Industrial and Animal Agricultural Byproducts to Improve Agricultural Competitiveness and Sustainability

Location: Genetics and Sustainable Agriculture Research

Title: Trace elements and heavy metals in the Grand Bay National Estuarine Reserve in the northern Gulf of Mexico

Author
item Mccomb, Jacqueline - Jackson State University
item Han, Fengxiang - Jackson State University
item Rogers, Christian - Jackson State University
item Thomas, Catherine - Environmental Laboratory, Us Army Engineer Research And Development Center, Waterways Experiment St
item Arslan, Zikri - Jackson State University
item Adeli, Ardeshir
item Tchounwou, Paul - Jackson State University

Submitted to: Marine Pollution Bulletin
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/25/2015
Publication Date: 8/7/2015
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/61625
Citation: Mccomb, J.Q., Han, F.X., Rogers, C., Thomas, C., Arslan, Z., Adeli, A., Tchounwou, P.B. 2015. Trace elements and heavy metals in the Grand Bay National Estuarine Reserve in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Marine Pollution Bulletin. doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2015.07.062.

Interpretive Summary: Anthropogenic activities have led to the release of a significant amount of heavy metals and trace elements into the estuary from agricultural fields, residential areas, septic tanks, industrial discharges, and other point sources by rivers and creeks. Estuaries are known areas of inflow plagued with extreme physico-chemical changes that are the direct result of tidal variations. Partly due to large quantities of dissolved organic complexes and particulate matter, heavy metals are translocated to great distances to end up in the sediments of the estuaries, thus reflecting in the relatively high levels in numerous estuarine organisms and in sediments and possessing a detrimental effect on the biogeochemical cycling and biochemical balance in estuaries. The major inputs of heavy metals and trace metals to estuaries are derived from riverine, atmospheric, and anthropogenic sources. Therefore, the environmental fates of heavy metals and trace elements such as Pb, Cd, Hg, and As etc. in the estuaries are of great concern, specifically in or around industrial centers, dumps, and former mine sites near estuaries. The objectives of this study are to investigate biogeochemical processes controlling fates of trace elements and heavy metals in the Grand Bay National Reserve and to re-assess the environmental fates of P from the 2005 P spilling and its long-term effects on the biogeochemistry of trace elements and heavy metals in the estuaries.

Technical Abstract: The Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve has the highest biotic diversity of habitats and offer a reserve of food resources and commercially significant species. Rapid human civilization has led to accumulation of heavy metals and trace elements in estuaries. The Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is a national marine protected area in southeastern Mississippi in the Gulf of Mexico. The objectives of this study are to investigate major biogeochemical processes controlling concentrations and distribution of trace elements and heavy metals in the salt marsh and wetland soil/sediment in the reserve. The results show that Hg, Cd and to some extent, As and Pb have been significantly accumulated in soils/sediments. We found strong correlations between total organic matter contents and concentrations of elements: Ni > Cr > Sr > Co > Zn, Cd > Cu> Cs. Strong correlations were also observed between total P and concentrations of Ni, Co, Cr, Sr, Zn, Cu, and Cd. The P spilling accident in 2005 caused a significant increase in P concentrations in Bang Lake site. Lead isotope ratios matched those of North American coals and Mississippi River type Pb-Zn ore from Missouri regions. The Pb isotopes were in agreement with those reported in sediments of Chesapeake Bay and South Florida Lakes. The present study implies three major biogeochemical processes controlling and contributing to the current loading of trace elements and heavy metals in the region: bioaccumulation process, anthropogenic phosphorus spilling, and atmospheric fallouts from coal power plants. Sediments transported through runoff from the Mississippi River Valley may be a possible addition.