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Type: Journal article
Title: A benthic bioindicator reveals distinct land and ocean–based influences in an urbanized coastal embayment
Author: Munroe, S.E.
Coates-Marnane, J.
Burford, M.
Fry, B.
Citation: PLoS One, 2018; 13(10):e0205408-1-e0205408-28
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Issue Date: 2018
ISSN: 1932-6203
Statement of
Samantha E. M. Munroe, Jack Coates-Marnane, Michele A. Burford, Brian Fry
Abstract: Biogeochemical maps of coastal regions can be used to identify important influences and inputs that define nearshore environments and biota. Biogeochemical tracers can also track animal movement and their diet, monitor human coastal development, and evaluate the condition of habitats and species. However, the beneficial applications of spatial biogeochemical analysis are hindered by a limited understanding of how tracer distribution is affected by different land and ocean–based influences. To help address these knowledge gaps, we determined the spatial trends of three stable isotopes (δ13C-carbon, δ15N-nitrogen, δ34S-sulfur) and 13 major and trace elements in an urbanized coastal embayment (Moreton Bay, Australia), as incorporated into the muscle tissue of a marine consumer, the eastern king prawn Melicertus plebejus. Results were used to identify unique biochemical regions within the bay and to discuss how spatial patterns in tracers could be used to indicate the relative importance of catchment, urban and offshore drivers in coastal bays. Discriminant analysis identified seven biogeochemical regions that were likely distinguished by variation in catchment, urban, and offshore input, and habitat type. δ13C and δ15N patterns suggested nearshore areas could be distinguished by increased sediment resuspension and higher wastewater inputs from catchments. High inshore lead (Pb) and copper (Cu) concentrations were likely the result of urban input. Arsenic (As) and cadmium (Cd) increased further from shore. This trend implied oceanic influences were a significant control over As and Cd bioavailability. Cobalt (Co) and rare earths were also used to differentiate some nearshore areas, but incongruent distribution patterns in Co suggested it may be less reliable. Overall, results indicated that δ15N, δ13C, Cd, Cu, Pb and rare earth elements were the most reliable tracers to differentiate nearshore and offshore environments, and catchment–based effects. We encourage future studies to consider using a similar multivariate approach in coastal spatial analysis, and to include unrelated tracers that reflect distinct coastal influences.
Keywords: Muscles
Trace Elements
Carbon Isotopes
Nitrogen Isotopes
Sulfur Isotopes
Discriminant Analysis
Environmental Monitoring
Description: Published: October 11, 2018
Rights: © 2018 Munroe 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.
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0205408
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