Utilize este identificador para referenciar este registo: http://hdl.handle.net/10362/13909
Título: Development of an integrative approach for the characterization of ecological risk on marine transition ecosystems: the Sado Estuary as a case study
Autor: Pereira, Filipa Maria de Abreu
Orientador: Costa, Maria Helena
Costa, Pedro Manuel Broa
Palavras-chave: Risk assessment
Transitional ecosystems
Sediment contamination
Environmental toxicology
Data de Defesa: Nov-2014
Resumo: Estuaries and other transitional waters are complex ecosystems critically important as nursery and shelter areas for organisms. Also, humans depend on estuaries for multiple socio-economical activities such as urbanism, tourism, heavy industry, (taking advantage of shipping), fisheries and aquaculture, the development of which led to strong historical pressures, with emphasis on pollution. The degradation of estuarine environmental quality implies ecologic, economic and social prejudice, hence the importance of evaluating environmental quality through the identification of stressors and impacts. The Sado Estuary (SW Portugal) holds the characteristics of industrialized estuaries, which results in multiple adverse impacts. Still, it has recently been considered moderately contaminated. In fact, many studies were conducted in the past few years, albeit scattered due to the absence of true biomonitoring programmes. As such, there is a need to integrate the information, in order to obtain a holistic perspective of the area able to assist management and decision-making. As such, a geographical information system (GIS) was created based on sediment contamination and biomarker data collected from a decade-long time-series of publications. Four impacted and a reference areas were identified, characterized by distinct sediment contamination patterns related to different hot spots and diffuse sources of toxicants. The potential risk of sediment-bound toxicants was determined by contrasting the levels of pollutants with available sediment quality guidelines, followed by their integration through the Sediment Quality guideline Quotient (SQG-Q). The SQG-Q estimates per toxicant or class was then subjected to georreferencing and statistical analyses between the five distinct areas and seasons. Biomarker responses were integrated through the Biomarkers Consistency Indice and georreferenced as well through GIS. Overall, in spite of the multiple biological traits surveyed, the biomarker data (from several organisms) are accordant with sediment contamination. The most impacted areas were the shipyard area and adjacent industrial belt, followed by urban and agricultural grounds. It is evident that the estuary, although globally moderately impacted, is very heterogeneous and affected by a cocktail of contaminants, especially metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon. Although elements (like copper, zinc and even arsenic) may originate from the geology of the hydrographic basin of the Sado River, the majority of the remaining contaminants results from human activities. The present work revealed that the estuary should be divided into distinct biogeographic units, in order to implement effective measures to safeguard environmental quality.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10362/13909
Designação: Dissertação
Aparece nas colecções:FCT: DCEA - Dissertações de Mestrado

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