The Sarno River is considered the most polluted river in Europe and one of the ten most polluted rivers in the world. So far, its quality has been usually evaluated by water and sediment analyses of either inorganic or organic pollutants. However, a biomonitoring approach would be of paramount importance in the evaluation of river quality, since it integrates pollutant temporal fluctuations, as in the case of discontinuous inputs from urban, industrial and agricultural activities. To this end, a passive biomonitoring study of the Sarno River was carried out, using two native aquatic plants accumulators of inorganic pollutants. The spring area was monitored analysing the roots of the semi-submerged Apium nodiflorum, whereas the whole river course was monitored analysing the shoots of the submerged Potamogeton pectinatus. The information on the four macronutrient (Ca, K, Mg, P), the six micronutrient (Cu, Fe, Mn, Na, Ni, Zn) and the four toxic element (Cd, Cr, Pb, V) concentrations were separately combined in the Nemerow Pollution Index. Results evidenced a severe pollution degree of the Sarno River, attributable to toxic elements>micronutrients>macronutrients. In particular, the spring area showed high K concentrations, as well as high concentrations of several micronutrients and toxic elements. A generalized Zn contamination and a progressive macronutrient (above all Ca and P), micronutrient (above all Ni, Cu and Fe) and toxic element (above all Cr and Pb) accumulation toward the mouth was related to pollution from agricultural and urban activities. Industrial sources, especially tanneries along the Solofrana tributary, accounted for high Mn concentrations, whereas the volcanic origin of the substrate accounted for a generalized V contamination.

Biomonitoring of nutrient and toxic element concentrations in the Sarno River through aquatic plants

Lofrano, Giusy;Libralato, Giovanni;
2018

Abstract

The Sarno River is considered the most polluted river in Europe and one of the ten most polluted rivers in the world. So far, its quality has been usually evaluated by water and sediment analyses of either inorganic or organic pollutants. However, a biomonitoring approach would be of paramount importance in the evaluation of river quality, since it integrates pollutant temporal fluctuations, as in the case of discontinuous inputs from urban, industrial and agricultural activities. To this end, a passive biomonitoring study of the Sarno River was carried out, using two native aquatic plants accumulators of inorganic pollutants. The spring area was monitored analysing the roots of the semi-submerged Apium nodiflorum, whereas the whole river course was monitored analysing the shoots of the submerged Potamogeton pectinatus. The information on the four macronutrient (Ca, K, Mg, P), the six micronutrient (Cu, Fe, Mn, Na, Ni, Zn) and the four toxic element (Cd, Cr, Pb, V) concentrations were separately combined in the Nemerow Pollution Index. Results evidenced a severe pollution degree of the Sarno River, attributable to toxic elements>micronutrients>macronutrients. In particular, the spring area showed high K concentrations, as well as high concentrations of several micronutrients and toxic elements. A generalized Zn contamination and a progressive macronutrient (above all Ca and P), micronutrient (above all Ni, Cu and Fe) and toxic element (above all Cr and Pb) accumulation toward the mouth was related to pollution from agricultural and urban activities. Industrial sources, especially tanneries along the Solofrana tributary, accounted for high Mn concentrations, whereas the volcanic origin of the substrate accounted for a generalized V contamination.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/695925
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