Spatial distribution and ecological risk assessment of metals in sediments of Baiyangdian wetland ecosystem
Publication: Research - peer-review › Journal article
Although there are many studies of heavy metal contaminations of sediments, attention has seldom been paid to the problem in developing countries. The purpose of this article is to find the distribution and ecological risk of As, Hg, Cr, Cd, Pb, Cu, and Zn in surface sediment of Baiyangdian which is the biggest wetland in Northeast China. We apply three methodologies. The first is literature analysis comparing total concentrations of heavy metals with other water bodies around world. The second is Chinese Environmental Quality Standard for Soils (EQSS), National Environmental Protection Agency of China 1995, and the third is Soil and Aquatic Sediment Guidelines and Standards issued by New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). The results show that compared to other water bodies around the world, the seven heavy metals are low. However, Cd was found in the most polluting level of EQSS near a village and was second grade some distance from it. The village was also the most polluted site of Zn, which was in the second grade. When assessed by NYSDEC, Cu, Cr, and As contaminated the sediment and with moderate impacts on benthic life while Pb, Hg, and Zn were found at tolerable levels throughout Baiyangdian. The centre of Cu and Cr contamination was also near the village. As is the most polluting heavy metals with a major occurrence in the middle of the wetland. There were no heavy metals creating severe disturbance to the benthic communities. Based on the assessment, this article proposes different options for more sustainable management.