This study examined the potential use of macroalgae epiphytic on mangrove aerial roots as indicators of estuarine contamination. The distribution and abundance of macroalgae was investigated in four estuaries in the vicinity of Sydney, Australia, and compared to water and sediment metal concentrations, nutrient concentrations and physicochemical parameters over four seasonal surveys. Macroalgal diversity and distribution appeared to be highly influenced by the ambient contaminant concentrations, while biomass appeared to be linked with nutrient concentrations. The distribution of the Rhodophyta species, Catenella nipae Zanardini significantly decreased as metal concentrations increased among the estuaries during all seasonal surveys. This species showed strong potential for use as a bioindicator of estuarine contamination. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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