Relationship between heavy metals and dissolved organic matter released from sediment by bioturbation/bioirrigation

Yi He , Bin Men , Xiaofang Yang , Yaxuan Li , Hui Xu , Dongsheng Wang


Received December 04, 2017,Revised January 01, 1900, Accepted March 22, 2018, Available online March 29, 2018

Volume 75,2019,Pages 216-223

Organic matter (OM) is an important component of sediment. Bioturbation/bioirrigation can remobilize OM and heavy metals that were previously buried in the sediment. The remobilization of buried organic matter, thallium (Tl), cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) from sediment was studied in a laboratory experiment with three organisms: tubificid, chironomid larvae and loach. Results showed that bioturbation/bioirrigation promoted the release of dissolved organic matter (DOM) and dissolved Tl, Cd, Cu and Zn, but only dissolved Zn concentrations decreased with exposure time in overlying water. The presence of organisms altered the compositions of DOM released from sediment, considerably increasing the percentage of fulvic acid-like materials (FA) and humic acid-like materials (HA). In addition, bioturbation/bioirrigation accelerated the growth and reproduction of bacteria to enhance the proportion of soluble microbial byproduct-like materials (SMP). The DOM was divided into five regions in the three-dimensional excitation emission matrix (3D-EEM), and each part had different correlation with the dissolved heavy metal concentrations. Dissolved Cu had the best correlation with each of the DOM compositions, indicating that Cu in the sediment was in the organic-bound form. Furthermore, the organism type and heavy metal characteristics both played a role in influencing the remobilization of heavy metal.

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