Marine Benthic Macrophytes Diversity and Concentration of Heavy Metals in Thalassia hemprichii Near Mining Area of Claver, Surigao del Norte, Philippines
Marine benthic macrophytes are a good indicator of heavy metal contamination along coastal ecosystems. Heavy metal contamination in the aquatic environment is one of the major environmental issues these days. The study aimed to assess the diversity of marine benthic macrophytes, quantify, compare, and correlate heavy metal concentration in terms of Iron (Fe), Lead (Pb), Cadmium (Cd), Chromium (Cr), and Nickel (Ni) present in Thalassia hemprichii among selected sampling stations in Cagdianao, Claver, Surigao del Norte, Philippines. Triplicate samples were collected from the six marine sampling stations and analyzed using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer. Thirty-seven species of submerged marine benthic macrophytes belonging to 15 families were recorded. The results of the heavy metal analysis revealed that accumulations of heavy metal in the above-ground tissues of T. hemprichii (leaves) were much higher than in below-ground tissues (rhizomes). Iron, Nickel, and Chromium concentrations were significantly different in every location, both in leaves and in rhizomes. Generally, the heavy metal uptake sequence in T. hemprichii leaves, and rhizomes were Iron>Nickel>Chromium>Lead>Cadmium. Also, there was no particular pattern of accumulation of each heavy metal being analyzed across study stations. Concentration patterns of heavy metals in T. hemprichii significantly differed depending on plant tissue and sampling sites. These findings suggest that further studies should be conducted to know the source of trace elements, especially for Chromium in the seagrass tissues.