Seasonal dynamics of trace elements in tidal salt marsh soils as affected by the flow-sediment regulation regime

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Abstract

© 2014 Bai et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.Soil profiles were collected in three salt marshes with different plant species (i.e. Phragmites australis, Tamarix chinensis and Suaeda salsa) in the Yellow River Delta (YRD) of China during three seasons (summer and fall of 2007 and the following spring of 2008) after the flow-sediment regulation regime. Total elemental contents of As, Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn were determined using inductively coupled plasma atomic absorption spectrometry to investigate temporal variations in trace elements in soil profiles of the three salt marshes, assess the enrichment levels and ecological risks of these trace elements in three sampling seasons and identify their influencing factors. Trace elements did not change significantly along soil profiles at each site in each sampling season. The highest value for each sampling site was observed in summer and the lowest one in fall. Soils in both P. australis and S. salsa wetlands tended to have higher trace element levels than those in T. chinensis wetland. Compared to other elements, both Cd and As had higher enrichment factors exceeding moderate enrichment levels. However, the toxic unit (TU) values of these trace elements did not exceed probable effect levels. Correlation analysis showed that these trace elements were closely linked to soil properties such as moisture, sulfur, salinity, soil organic matter, soil texture and pH values. Principal component analysis showed that the sampling season affected by the flow-sediment regulation regime was the dominant factor influencing the distribution patterns of these trace elements in soils, and plant community type was another important factor. The findings of this study could contribute to wetland conservation and management in coastal regions affected by the hydrological engineering.

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Bai, J., Xiao, R., Zhao, Q., Lu, Q., Wang, J., & Ramesh Reddy, K. (2014). Seasonal dynamics of trace elements in tidal salt marsh soils as affected by the flow-sediment regulation regime. PLoS ONE, 9(9). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0107738

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