A case study of PAH contamination using blue mussels as a bioindicator in a small Greenlandic fishing harbor

Rikke Poulsen, Thorsten Klaus Otto Gravert*, Arianna Tartara, Henriette Kornmaaler Bensen, Klara Cecilia Gunnarsen, Kristína Dicová, Nikoline Juul Nielsen, Jan Henning Christensen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This study investigated the impact of local anthropogenic activity on the marine environment around the remote harbor of Qeqertarsuaq, West Greenland. Blue mussels (Mytilus sp.) were used as a bioindicator, and their physiological condition was found to decrease with increasing proximity to the harbor. Subsequently, the distribution of 19 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and 9 groups of alkylated PAHs were measured in mussel and sediment samples. The highest values were found in a rocky collection area 15 m from a wooden pier frequented by small boats. A PAH source investigation, indicated a mixed source from light fuel oils and creosote used as boat coating. Finally, correlations between the mussels morphological condition and the PAH pollution were found to be significant for 4-, 5-, and 6-ring PAHs. In conclusion, the results indicate that pollution sources in harbors have significant effects on the local environment and should be considered in arctic conservation research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112688
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume171
ISSN0025-326X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

Keywords

  • Arctic environmental pollution
  • Bioindicators
  • Greenland
  • Local pollution
  • Mytilus sp.
  • PAHs

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